NYC Motor vehicle accidents injuries reached a record high in 2018. 1,083 pedestrians, 4,281 cyclists, 18,687 passengers and 26,843 motorists suffered personal injury in a crash in New York City in 2018. 60,646 people were injured in NYC traffic accidents in 2018 compared to 58,990 in 2017 and 54,818 in 2013. Over the last five years the number of traffic injuries increased by more than 10%. The main reason for this increase are motorists injured in auto accidents often related to distracted driving. Distracted driving is the number one cause of crashes in New York.
The total number of traffic fatalities in New York City in 2018 was below 200 for the first time since Vision Zero was implemented. 112 pedestrians, 70 motorists, 9 cyclists and 8 passengers were killed in traffic accidents in the city in 2018. Annual traffic fatalities declined by more than 30% since 2013.
The total number of crashes in the city has been culminating above 227,000 for the last 3 years with a record 227,924 accidents in 2018. Driver inattention is the primary cause of accidents followed by driver following too closely. Backing unsafely and changing lanes unsafely are two other common causes of accidents in the city. Since 2013 auto accidents increased by 12%.
On Wednesday, at a hearing on four e-bike and e-scooter bills Mayor de Blasio and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg indicated that they were not in favor of immediately legalizing the usage e-bikes and and e-scooters. According to them, they are too dangerous and can lead to additional pedestrian and regular bicycle accidents.
Polly Trottenberg said that the DOT had two e-scooter fatalities on record. She also added that New York State should be first to legalize this mode of transportation. However Governor Cuomo recently indicated that localities should be in charge of deciding whether or not they want to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters.
Despite being illegal the usage of e-scooters and e-bikes has been increasingly popular in the city especially among delivery workers. On Wednesday, many of them were present at a press conference held outside of City Hall before the City Council hearing on the bills. Delivery workers who are using them for work are fed with paying for tickets that can go up to $500 or have their vehicle confiscated. They want the city to legalize this new mode of transportation as soon as possible. Last year the NYPD confiscated 1,215 e-bikes and distributed 1,154 tickets for using e-bikes. Additionally 1,362 moving violations were issued to e-bike riders during the same period. For a delivery worker the amount of a ticket can be equivalent to a week of work.
Anti bike lanes activists intentionally put NYC cyclists at risk of dangerous accidents by spreading broken glass on the 12th and 13th streets bike lanes in the West Village in Manhattan. This is the second time that a bike lane has been intentionally vandalized for political reasons. In November, thumbtacks were thrown all over the 43rd Avenue bike lanes in Sunnyside, Queens by bike lanes opponents.
Yesterday afternoon, “bring back our parking!” graffiti and other anti-bike lane signs appeared on the 12th and 13th street bike lanes. Broken glass was also spread over the two bike lanes putting cyclists at risk of dangerous accidents.
According to Street Blog, the graffiti reflect the opinion of the anti-bike lane 14th Street Coalition. This group is asking the city to remove the two bike lanes on 12th and 13th street as well as the bus lane on 14th street. The two bike lanes and the dedicated bus lane were implemented by the city in anticipation of the L subway lane closure. Now that the city announced that the L will not shut down, some anti cyclists neighborhood groups want their their street back to the way it was before.
While the number of traffic fatalities is on the rise nationally, in New York, most probably because of the many Vision Zero Initiatives launched over the last five years, traffic fatalities were at their lowest during the third trimester of 2018 compared to the third trimester of the five previous years. The decline in traffic fatalities during the summer of 2018 is due to the decrease in pedestrians and cyclists fatalities while the number of motorist fatalities was at its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero.
From July 1st to September 30 2018, 59 people lost their life in NYC auto accidents compare to respectively 65, 61, 60, 76 and 82 during the same period of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. It is interesting to notice that there are now as many motorists deaths as pedestrian deaths. Pedestrians used to be the category of road users the most at risk of dying in trafic accidents. However according to the most recent statistics drivers now have as much risk as pedestrians of getting killed in a traffic accident in New York City.
A record number of 16,300 people were injured in car accidents in New York City during the third trimester of 2018 compared to respectively 15,860, 16,048, 13,998, 13,472 and 14,900 during the third trimester of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Not only in New York but all over the US, distracted driving has led to a significant increase in motorist injuries. Over the last 3 years and despite Vision Zero intense efforts to make New York City Streets safer, the number of motorists injured in car accidents in New York has been increasing tremendously.
Our NYC bicycle accident lawyers are suing the city and the Hudson River Park Trust on behalf of the families of the victims of the terror attack that took place a year ago on the West Side Highway bike path. Our firm is representing the families of 20 victims who were among the people who were killed or injured by a pro-ISIS terrorist who rented a truck from the Home Depot and sped down the Greenway, a popular bike path along the Hudson River, mowing down anyone in its path.
The city’s Department of Transportation and Parks Dept as well as the Hudson River Park Trust “were on notice since at least 2007 of the numerous vehicles that were entering the Greenway,” said our partner Anthony Gair to the NY Daily News. “Nothing was done.”
Previous Transportation Alternative study ignored by the city
The bus driver who fatally struck a cyclist on West 26th Street, New York, was found guilty of violating New York City’s Right of Way Law, failure to exercise due care and traffic violation, after a trial that lasted two days.
On a Monday morning in June 2017, Dan Hanegby was pedaling to work on West 26th Street. The street has no bike lane and cyclists share the road with motor vehicles. David Lewis who was driving a Coach USA bus arrived behind the biker, clearly saw him and barreled past him in a narrow area of the street instead of slowing down and waiting for a safer opportunity to pass the bike. The bicyclist was knocked down by the bus and died.
During the trial the attorney for the bus driver tried to blame the victim and claimed that Hanegby lost control of his bike. However a surveillance video from a nearby building clearly shows that the bicyclist drove on a straight line and that because vehicles were parked on both sides of the street, it was just too narrow for the bus driver to pass the bike. The video also shows that the bus driver doesn’t slow down at any moment. Not before and not after the accident, completely failing to exercise caution.
Last Halloween, a terrorist driving a rental truck plowed into bicyclists and pedestrians on the Greenway bike path along the West Side Highway near Battery Park. In his act of terror, Sayfullo Saipov killed 8 people and injured 13 others after he entered the bike path North of Chambers Street and drove 14 blocks down the path, striking bicyclists and pedestrians on his way. The police were able to stop him after he slammed into a school bus at the Chambers Street intersection and tried to run away on foot.
According to the authorities, Saipov was inspired by the Islamic Sate group when he committed his act of terror. He is now behind bars and held without bail. He pleaded not guilty but the federal prosecutors announced on Friday that they are seeking the death penalty which is extremely rare in New York. The last time it occurred was in 1953 for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
Our firm represents most of the victims of the terror attack and while this decision by the federal prosecutors will satisfy the families of the victims it will never make up for their losses.
84 people including 49 pedestrians, 6 cyclists, 3 vehicle passengers and 26 vehicle drivers died in traffic accidents in New York City during the first semester. This is the lowest number of traffic deaths ever recorded in the city during the first six months of the year. Last year 96 people died in traffic accidents during the same period. It was the first time that the number of traffic deaths was below 100 for the first six months of the year.
While less and less people are dying in auto accidents in the city, more and more are getting injured. 28,544 people suffered injury in a crash during the first semester of 2018 compared to 27,923 during the same period of the previous year and respectively 27,540, 23,530, 24,508 and 26,119 during the first semester of 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.
As part of the Vision Zero initiative, the speed limit in the city went down to 25 mph in 2014. This speed limit decrease may have been a factor in the reduction of traffic deaths and in the increase of injuries. Accidents at lower speed may prevent road users from dying, instead they are getting injured.
A 23 year old Australian tourist was killed in a bicycle accident in New York on Friday afternoon. Madison Jane Lyden and another tourist were riding their bicycles North on Central Park West. As they passed by the bus stop between 66th and 67th Street, the young woman was forced into traffic to avoid an Uber car pulling into the bike lane. According to witnesses she “bounced off” the garbage truck before landing under its wheels. She was rushed to the hospital where she died shortly later. Madison Jane Lyden was from Victoria Australia. She worked at a recreational center as a swim instructor, life guard and receptionist. She was visiting New York with friends.
One of our employees happened to be visiting someone in the building located right across the street from the accident scene and took a picture from above that clearly shows the livery car pulling into the bike lane, on the left are the belongings of the victim on the ground. It also shows the Garbage Truck stopped at a significant distance from where it contacted the bicyclist. Skid marks , which would indicate the truck braked prior to contact are are not visible south of or next to the Uber in the photo.