While injuries declined, a surge in New York traffic fatalities for all categories of road users – pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and passengers – was recorded during the third trimester of 2020 compared to the same period of previous years. 77 people died in motor vehicle accidents this summer compared to respectively, 56, 59, 65, 61, 60, 76 and 82 in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. This recent data brings the number of traffic fatalities in the city to its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero and very close to pre-Vision Zero levels. The rising number of traffic deaths occurred in a city that had far less people living in it than usual as many New Yorkers took off for the summer and most foreign tourists were unable to enter the US because of the Covid-19 restrictions. Speeding is a factor in many of these fatalities. Street safety advocates are also pointing the finger at Mayor de Blasio who decline to listen and apply the recommendations of his COVID-19 transportation recovery panel.
The number of motorist deaths was at its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero in 2014. 31 motorists died in New York City during the third quarter of 2020 compared to respectively, 21, 26, 22, 13, 16, 21 and 36 during the third quarter of 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Motorist fatalities which were still on a declining trend during the third quarter of 2019 are now on a perfectly flat trend.
Despite more than doubling – from 4 to 9 – between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2020, the number of passenger deaths recorded during the third quarter of 2020 remains on a slightly declining trend when looking at the entire Vision Zero period.