New York City’s Vision Zero Initiative has been around for almost a decade. Laws have been changed, speed limits reduced, and crosswalks optimized for foot traffic. While this program has undoubtedly had a positive impact, reducing pedestrian fatalities below 100 people for the first time in almost a century, can the same be said about car crashes? To find out if Vision Zero is leading to fewer car crashes, we need to take a look at the data.
A Brief Comparison
A lot has changed in New York City over the past 30 years. In 1990, there were more than 700 traffic fatalities across the five boroughs. By 2013, it was closer to 400. After the launch of Vision Zero in 2014, fatal accidents dropped significantly. By 2018, there were 200 traffic fatalities across NYC, a 50% reduction since the project began!
While there are clearly fewer fatalities, are there fewer car crashes overall? Not exactly. According to the city’s Department of Transportation, the number of car crashes (independent of fatalities) has increased significantly since Vision Zero began. If NYPD numbers are correct, the sheer number of car crashes has increased by 10% since the project began.
Correlation and Causation
Although car crashes have increased since the beginning of Vision Zero, that does not mean Vision Zero is causing more crashes. Rather, there are other factors at play such as traffic congestion, an increased number of vehicles, and limited space in New York City.
The important takeaway is that Vision Zero has been successful in reducing the number of severe injuries and traffic fatalities across New York City. Reduced speed limits and other simple safety measures have proven extremely effective so far, but there is still a long way to go.
Although injuries are down, the point of Project Zero is to eliminate traffic injuries entirely. With more than 250,000 collisions and over 5,000 people injured each year, it’s unclear how long it might be before this ambitious project meets its goal.
If you or someone you love were involved in a crash, 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.