While traffic deaths may be down, roads remain dangerous

Citations and accidents are up, although fatalities in New York City have dropped

New Yorkers can take comfort in the fact that there are fewer people dying on the city's streets in recent months. According to Capital New York, traffic fatalities in New York City have dropped recently following improvement's to road safety, such as extra bike lanes and lower speed limits. However, the news of the fewer fatalities was mitigated by the fact that traffic citations, fatal pedestrian and bike accidents, and overall car accidents are on the rise, showing that the city still has some work to do to improve road safety.

Fatalities dropping

The recently released statistics show that driver or passenger fatalities during the period from July to October of last year were at 37, compared to 52 during the same period in 2013. Drunk driving-related fatalities also saw a substantial drop from 20 in the same period in 2013 to just nine in 2014.

Officials credit the reduction in fatalities to the city's Vision Zero plan, an ambitious project to eliminate traffic deaths within New York City. The plan has included reducing speed limits on many streets, installing more red-light cameras, building protected bike lanes, and redesigning intersections to make them safer for pedestrians.

Overall accidents climbing

The statistics, however, show that while fatalities have decreased, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Overall motor vehicle accidents actually rose during the four-month period that was studied, from just over 179,000 in 2013 to over 183,700 in 2014. Traffic summonses for "hazardous violations" also saw a significant increase, from 232,271 to 268,467, suggesting that while there are fewer fatal accidents, the prevalence of dangerous drivers has hardly abated.

Perhaps more worrying is the fact that fatal bicycle and pedestrian accidents actually increased from 56 to 64. Furthermore, as the New York Daily News recently reported, the New York City area accounts for a high number of the state's overall pedestrian fatalities. Between 2011 and 2013, 723 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents in New York City and surrounding regions, accounting for about 60 percent of the state's total pedestrian deaths.

Motor vehicle accidents

Although fatalities are decreasing, the rise in overall accidents in New York City shows that pedestrians and motorists are still at significant risk of injury. Pedestrians and cyclists are at an especially high risk of being hurt in a car crash. Also, if such a crash involves a hit-and-run driver, then victims can sometimes feel that they have few options to help cover the many expenses associated with an accident.

Fortunately, help is available for accident victims. Even in hit-and-run accidents, victims can still file a no-fault claim. However, accident claims can become complex and insurers may not initially offer the full compensation that is sometimes needed. To help deal with the claims process, anybody injured in a motor vehicle accident should contact a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.