The urbanization of the United States is something that appears to be happening again after decades of seeing the population spread out into the suburbs and then into different parts of the country. As a result of this phenomenon, different traffic patterns are forming and different norms are accepted in enormous cities such as Los Angeles and New York as compared to places with smaller populations. In the United States, that’s obviously every other metropolitan area, as these are the two biggest cities in the country.
Given these perceived changes, researchers at the University of Michigan recently took a close look at the different types of traffic accidents that occur in New York and Los Angeles as opposed to those that occur in the rest of the country. The findings were seen as somewhat surprising even though many would have guessed at least on a conceptual level that certain types of crashes are more prevalent in these cities than they are anywhere else.
According to the findings in the study, pedestrians were involved in approximately half of all fatal traffic accidents in New York City during the time period studied, which was between the years of 2002 and 2009. This rate compares to approximately 22 percent in the rest of New York and to 11 percent across the United States. The percentage of crashes involving pedestrians in Los Angeles was lower than that of New York City, checking in at approximately 33 percent as compared to 17 percent for the rest of California.
When the percentage of traffic accidents involving bicycles was studied, the numbers were somewhat lower but still showed a big difference between these enormous cities and the rest of the country. Approximately 6 percent of all fatal crashes in New York City involved at least one bicycle, with Los Angeles showing a rate of 3 percent. Both of those rates were still higher than the national percentage of 2 percent during that time.
Clearly, these numbers could show several things, including:
- Pedestrians and bicyclists face more risk in these cities than in others.
- There are more vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles in these large cities, increasing the risks.
- The traffic patterns in these places are changing as compared to the rest of the United States.
It stands to reason that people living in the two biggest cities in the country would begin to travel in different ways than everyone else. That could lead to continued differences in terms of the traffic accidents that take place and how they are likely to occur.
The study should also tell everyone in New York that travels on foot and/or by bicycle that they should be aware that they are in a place where a very high number of crashes involving their modes of travel occur. If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash caused by someone else, contact the New York injury lawyers at The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.