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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Limitations of Vision Zero in New York: Increase in SUV and Light Truck Accidents Found

Motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians in New York should all be aware of traffic collision injuries and traffic fatalities over the last several years. You may know that Mayor Bill de Blasio instituted “Vision Zero,” a plan with various features all designed to reduce the rate of crashes in and around the city. Yet according to a recent article on NYC Streetsblog, Vision Zero has not accomplished what it set out to do. In fact, as the article points out, New York City streets have actually seen a rise in the number of SUV and light truck accidents, suggesting that more pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicle occupants could be at serious risk of injury in the near future. What do you need to know about motor vehicle accidents under Vision Zero, and what should you do if you are injured?

More SUVs and Trucks Mean More Accidents

The primary takeaway from the recent article is that Vision Zero is not really working. Looking at auto accident statistics from the past several years, the rate of collisions involving SUVs and large trucks has actually risen, as we mentioned above, and more bicyclists and pedestrians have suffered serious and fatal injuries in collisions with motor vehicles. The article cites Gregory Shill, a law professor at the University of Iowa who emphasized that the newer “large-vehicle trend is a perfect storm for cities.”

Citing the growing use of SUVs and lights trucks, Shill explained how the federal government “prioritizes the safety of car passengers and not that of other drivers or people outside of vehicles.” Accordingly, “if cities want to protect their people from this storm, they’re going to have to take action on their own.” Shill went on to clarify that a major step forward would be creating car-free zones (or open streets), but that is only the beginning.

Why Vision Zero is Not Really Working

Based on data from, traffic injuries and deaths have actually risen in the past six years during Vision Zero. That data suggests that the policies of Vision Zero may not have “really made a difference in stanching the blood tide of vehicle violence that has maimed and killed so many New Yorkers.” Why has Vision Zero been ineffective, if that data is correct?

In short, the answer may have to do with the growing number of SUVs and light trucks across the boroughs. These vehicles have led to a startling increase in the rate of nonfatal injury collisions since 2017. Although Vision Zero may have resulted in a lower rate of overall pedestrian fatalities, the policies designed to reduce bicycle and vehicle occupant deaths have failed. Until policies address the heightened risks associated with SUVs and light trucks, it may be difficult or even impossible to reduce the rate of injury collisions significantly.

Seek Advice from a New York Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer

Were you injured in a crash? An experienced New York motor vehicle accident attorney at our firm can discuss your options for seeking compensation, from filing an insurance claim to filing a lawsuit if your injuries are sufficiently serious. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC today for more information.


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