The consequences of the 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, are hard to understate. Not only has it had a massive impact on daily life and the economy, its effects have reverberated even into people’s driving habits. As a result, 2020 became the deadliest year for motor vehicle accidents in New York City in more than half a decade.
A Rise in Motor Vehicle Fatalities
There were an estimated 243 fatalities resulting from motor vehicle accidents in New York City throughout 2020, according to the New York City Department of Transportation. This is an increase of about 11% over 2019, with cyclists experiencing nearly triple their usual fatality rate compared to previous years. This is despite years of efforts to reduce the rate of motor vehicle accidents by the city, which has seen a gradual climb in motor vehicle accidents and fatalities since 2014.
Putting the Blame On the Pandemic
Ironically, much of the increase in accidents and fatalities is blamed on the lack of cars on the road during the pandemic. With substantially less traffic to get in the way, many people took it as an opportunity to flagrantly ignore speed limits and other traffic laws, which led to both an increase in traffic violations and traffic accidents. In addition, the fact that more people were speeding meant that the average motor vehicle accident tended to be more deadly than in previous years, with the rate of injury and death increasing substantially compared to the number of people on the road.
Unfortunately, the fact that many people have begun driving again has done little to curtail this reckless driving, and there are still many people driving recklessly throughout the City. Although traffic is only at around half of what it was prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, there are still many more cars on the road than there were at the height of the quarantine. This means that the heightened rate of motor vehicle accidents and deaths is unlikely to go down any time soon.
Addressing the Rise in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Officials at the New York City Department of Transportation have already taken steps to reduce the rate of accidents throughout the City, including reducing speed limits on certain key roads and taking steps to remind the public to adhere to traffic laws. Unfortunately, these efforts have not yet had much success in curtailing the rate of motor vehicle accidents throughout the City. It seems it may take some time for people to unlearn the bad driving habits learned during the Pandemic.
If you or someone you know has been struck by a vehicle, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible. An attorney experienced in personal injury matters will be able to advise you on how to receive the compensation you deserve. Put the experienced Brooklyn personal injury attorneys of Georgaklis & Mallas, PLLC on your side to vigorously represent you and fight for the compensation you and your family deserves. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (718) 238-2400.