New York City Sees Increase in Fatal Auto Accidents During First Half of 2021

by Alex

After a four-year decline in fatal motor vehicle accidents, New York City has seen a spike in deadly crashes since 2020.

Last year, 243 people died in New York City auto accidents—the highest number since 2014. So far the data from this year shows that 2021 might be even worse. As of July 19, there were 137 fatalities caused by New York City traffic accidents. This number includes 64 pedestrian deaths, 37 motor vehicle driver and passenger deaths, 18 motorcyclist deaths, 9 cyclists deaths, and 5 electronic scooter and other motorized deaths.

Families of motor vehicle accident victims may be able to hold at-fault drivers financially accountable by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. To learn more about whether or not you may qualify for compensation, contact Shulman & Hill for a free legal consultation.

NYC Mayor Suggests Decrease in Public Transportation Use May Be to Blame for Spike in Traffic Deaths

As part of its Vision Zero initiative, New York City has aimed to lower traffic-related deaths by adding more bike lanes, widening crosswalks, conducting outreach campaigns to schools and senior centers, as well as increasing enforcement of speed limits and similar traffic laws.

In a response to the recent crash statistics, Mayor DeBlasio’s office said that the increase in traffic deaths is correlated with the sharp decrease in public transportation use throughout the pandemic. Public transit ridership declined as much as 90 percent when stay-at-home orders were first issued in 2020 and was still at only one-third of its average ridership in March of 2021.

“We’ve seen really horrible trends since COVID began with these crashes and deaths,” Mayor DeBlasio’s office said. “We will reverse it.”

While it is unclear if this is the primary reason behind the increase in fatalities, research shows that public transportation is as much as 10 times safer than driving a car.

2021 New York City Traffic Fatalities Include Record Number of Pedestrian Deaths

New York City’s streets can be particularly dangerous for pedestrians, even if they have the right of way. Between January and the end of June, 64 pedestrians lost their lives in New York City after being struck by a vehicle, the highest number for that six-month period in more than seven years.

Older New Yorkers are particularly at risk of being struck by a motor vehicle while walking. On average, older New Yorkers make up half of New York City’s pedestrian deaths though they only count for 13 percent of the population.

Recently on July 14, an 85-year-old woman was hit by a semi-truck while crossing E. 17th street in Union Square. Tragically, she died on the scene.

Just a week prior to that, a pedestrian died in a hit-and-run accident at the intersection of 70th street and Eliot Avenue in Queens. It is just one of 47 fatal hit-and-runs that occurred throughout New York City in the first half of 2021. The week of July 5 there were three fatal hit-and-run accidents, including one delivery cyclist who was struck by a car in the East Village.

New York City Streets Among the Most Deadly for Pedestrians in All of America

In a recent survey published by the Journal of Transport and Land Use of pedestrian deaths throughout the country, many of New York City’s streets were identified as particularly dangerous.

These streets include the following:

  • Manhattan: Canal St between W Broadway and 50m E of Bowery
  • Brooklyn: Brighton Beach Ave between Ocean Pkwy and Brighton 13th St
  • Manhattan: Bowery between Pell St and Stanton St
  • Manhattan: E 14th St between Union Sq W and 90m E of 1st Ave
  • Manhattan: 1st Ave between E 11th and 50m N of E 23rd St
  • Manhattan: 9th Ave between W 36th St and 40m N of W 48th St

In 2018, New York City was only second to Los Angeles for the most pedestrian deaths among large U.S. cities.

Pursuing Justice After a Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident

If your loved one was killed while walking, cycling, or driving around New York City, you may be able to hold the at-fault driver financially accountable.

A wrongful death lawsuit can help you recover compensation for the following losses:

  • Funeral and memorial expenses
  • Any medical expenses for treatment that your loved one may have received prior to passing
  • Loss of support, including the financial support your relative may have provided your family had they lived

Typically spouses, children, and parents can receive wrongful death compensation. For more information on eligibility and how to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you can schedule a free legal consultation with our New York City-based wrongful death lawyers.

Shulman & Hill Can Fight For Your Family

Shulman & Hill has helped New York City families navigate the aftermath of sudden, fatal traffic accidents since 2013. We understand how devastating the sudden death of a relative can be, which is why we will do everything within our power to help you obtain justice and closure.

Our New York City-based law firm has the skills and resources to investigate your loved one’s crash, identify the liable parties, gather witness statements and accident reports, file a lawsuit, and ultimately fight on your behalf for fair compensation.

Schedule a free legal consultation today to learn more about how we may be able to help you. You will only pay for our services if we win your case.

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