Officials in New York City are trying to put a stop on traffic deaths in 2020. Sadly, the city saw a 6% increase in these fatalities in 2019.
The primary victims have been cyclists and pedestrians. While NYC has already seen cycling expansions in recent years, more are getting hit by negligent drivers. According to current data from the Department of Transportation, SUVs, vans and pick-up trucks are the primary culprit in biker and pedestrian deaths.
Examining the numbers
According to a recent report, 215 traffic deaths occurred across all five boroughs in 2019. Out of those 215, 117 fatalities were pedestrians and 28 were cyclists. As the city sees more than 400,000 bike trips daily, the odds of getting hit can be high.
Safety tips for cyclists
In many cases, serious biker injury or death can be due to motorist error. Whether vehicles are racing through red lights or are backing up in places where they have limited visibility, they can put both bikers and pedestrians in danger. Luckily, there are steps bikers and pedestrians can take to help decrease their chances of getting hurt:
- Try to avoid riding against traffic.
- Use hand signals when making a lane change or turn.
- Communicate with the driver before moving forward.
- Keep an eye out for road hazards.
- Use lights when riding at night.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Keep in line with lane markings.
Police and city officials continue to push for change
Police and city officials are taking steps to reduce the number of biker and pedestrian traffic deaths. According to a recent report, police are working to reduce the speed limit from 30 mph to 25mph on Third and Hamilton Aves. in Brooklyn, as six people got killed on those streets alone in 2019. NYPD has also handed out more than 30,000 citations to dangerous drivers.
Despite all of the options, commuters in NYC face many challenges. However, city officials have said if these new initiatives can reduce significantly reduce traffic deaths, the Big Apple could have one of its safest years in recent memory.