Pedestrians walking across busy NYC intersection with heavy traffic in the background

Is NYC’s Vision Zero Initiative Making a Difference for Pedestrians?

Since 2014, Mayor DeBlasio’s Vision Zero initiative has sought to practically eliminate traffic fatalities and related catastrophic injuries in NYC. While NYC fatalities have fallen for those inside the car, pedestrians are still at a very high risk of not only being hit but experiencing fatal injuries. That raises the question, is NYC’s Vision Zero initiative making a difference for pedestrians?

A Look at the Trends

When Vision Zero began in 2014, nearly 11,000 NYC pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents each year, resulting in the deaths of more than 135 people. At that time, there were nearly three pedestrian fatalities for everyone one vehicle occupant fatality.

These days, it’s clear NYC is a much safer place for everyone. In recent years, pedestrian injuries have been cut in half, down to about 5,600 instances per year. Not only that, but 2020 was the first time in the past twenty years that there were fewer than 100 pedestrian fatalities across the five boroughs.

Big Changes

It’s clear that both pedestrian crashes and crash fatalities are dropping, but what’s driving this change? To find out, let’s take a closer look at some of Vision Zero’s most impactful campaigns.

Reducing the Speed Limit

Last year, city officials identified nine of the most dangerous intersections in the city and reduced the speed limit by 5 mph. It sounds like a small change, but lower speeds mean both a reduced risk of causing crashes (as drivers have more time to react) and a reduced risk of fatalities (as there is less force in the crash).

Adding More Bike Lanes

A big part of both Vision Zero and the Green Wave Movement is adding more miles of bike lane each year. The more bike-friendly the city is, the more people will opt for biking over driving. That, in turn, translates to a reduced risk of pedestrians being involved in a car crash. While this could also mean an increase in pedestrians hit by bicycles, these crashes are stastically less fatal.

If you or someone you love were struck by a car, you need affordable representation from a team you can trust. If you’d like an experienced New York City injury accident attorney from Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices to evaluate your case, don’t hesitate to call us at (718) 690-3132 or send us an email!

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