NEW YORK, NEW YORK – According to a news report on streetsblog.org, a recent poll found that over 50% of New Yorkers know very little about Vision Zero or even heard about the safety program in New York City.
The poll also found that over two-thirds of New Yorkers polled actually support the initiative. The numbers are surprising considering that 70 percent of those polled knew someone who had been injured or killed in an accident, and nearly 80% believe traffic and pedestrian accidents are a severe problem in the city.
Those polling results were provided by a new Siena College Research Institute poll that was taken toward the end of 2020 on behalf of Transportation Alternatives. The survey found that 30 percent of the polled New Yorkers had been injured in an accident, and that percentage increased amongst low-income residents (33%) and African-American residents (35%). The results appear to be another indication that road violence affects the most vulnerable New Yorkers.
The poll discovered that Staten Island had the highest percentage of respondents who knew someone who was either hurt or killed in an accident (88%), and 48% of the Staten Island respondents had been hurt in an accident.
The survey results brought to light the concern that Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero strategy is failing to reduce fatal traffic accidents in New York City. The Department of Transportation statistics shows that traffic accident fatalities rose to 221 in 2019 and then rose to 243 in 2020. In New York City, there are an average of 220,000 traffic accidents each year.
The number of fatalities has risen because the percentage of SUVs on the road has risen in recent years. More and more New Yorkers are buying larger vehicles such as SUVs, light trucks, and vans. Recent studies have indicated the increase of heavier and taller vehicles has caused a spike in severe injuries and deaths. One of the key reasons why SUVs are so dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists is most SUVs design. Most SUVs have a high hood and a flat-faced grill.
Therefore, when an SUV strikes a pedestrian or cyclist, the victim bares the vehicle’s full force. Cars typically have a lower bumper and are designed to be more aerodynamic with a low hood. So, when a pedestrian or cyclist is hit by a car, the victim is pushed on top of the hood of the vehicle and sustains fewer impact forces. Also, SUVs are taller, leading to impact forces on more vital organs leading to deadlier injuries.
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