The Department of Transportation (DOT) for New York City has made a commitment to reduce the number of traffic-related injuries and deaths by half over the next 20 years. City government seems to be taking this promise seriously and recently released an extensive report along with a specific action plan to make safer streets a reality.
Among the many findings related to motor-vehicle accidents, the report noted that alcohol plays a role in 8% of crashes in New York City as compared to a higher national rate of 13%. While NYC may have a lower rate of drunk-driving incidents than other places, those types of accidents are still twice as likely to result in a fatality. In the United States as a whole, nearly 1/3 of all deaths from auto and truck accidents involve alcohol.
New York City has a high concentration of what the DOT refers to as vulnerable road users - in other words, people not in cars. These include pedestrians, which constitute over 50% of the people who are killed in car accidents, and motorcyclists, who made up 8% of the total number of fatalities. The national rate for motorcycle deaths is similar; a person is about 3 times more likely to die on a motorcycle than in a car. Notably about 80% of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death.
Some other significant points in the study were that crashes involving a car changing lanes resulted in a fatality at twice the rate of other types of crashes. Pedestrians crossing correctly at a signal actually have a higher chance of getting hit and killed than a jaywalker, and accidents are three times more likely to occur when a car is turning left rather than right.
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