Just by trying to get somewhere in New York City, you run the risk of being in a traffic accident. And with the number of cars on the road, that risk is rising.
As less New Yorkers use public transportation, the danger on city streets is going up. More residents of New York City are choosing to use ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft over public transportation. With more residents using individual cars over buses and subways, traffic accidents are on the rise.
Vehicle fatalities on the rise in 2019
In all of 2018, 10 cyclists died in car accidents. As of the end of June, 15 cyclists have died in 2019. Three of the fatalities were in the same week. And the rate of traffic deaths in general was up 15.7% in June, compared to June of 2018. As more cars use the road, the chances of fatal accidents go up.
The effect of Uber and Lyft
Ride-hailing services have contributed to the increase in traffic. Fewer New Yorkers rely on public transportation. Many residents instead use Uber or Lyft to get around.
However, as Uber and Lyft grow, more accidents happen on city streets. New York City requires drivers of ride-hailing services to register with the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). Since 2015, the number of vehicles registered with the TLC has risen by 52%. At the same time, crashes of TLC vehicles have gone up. In 2015, there were 6,629 TLC crashes. In 2018, there were 10,600 TLC crashes.
The city administration has vowed to reduce traffic deaths to zero by 2024 with an initiative called Vision Zero. However, many advocates for safety say that the increase in traffic and the poor design of bike lanes and pedestrian walkways make that vision difficult. And with the number of traffic deaths rising this year, some say that Vision Zero may fail.
Protecting yourself in an accident
As more cars use New York City streets, your risk of being in an accident grows. If a car does hit you, make sure you take pictures and gather information on the driver of the car. Seeking legal advice can also make sure that you aren’t stuck with high medical bills.
While the city is trying to make traffic in the city safer, for now the increase in traffic is proving dangerous.