Most New Yorkers have been touched by traffic violence

Motor vehicle accidents kill tens of thousands of people each year in New York and around the country, and millions more suffer injuries. Drivers who cause car accidents may be ticketed for violating traffic laws and sued in civil court, and they could also face serious criminal charges if they caused the death of one or more people while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol or fled the scene of a fatal accident.

Traffic violence survey

A recent survey of New York City residents by the nonprofit road safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives reveals how common traffic violence is in the Empire State. Seven out of 10 of the New Yorkers polled said that they personally knew somebody who had died or suffered injuries in a crash, and almost a third of them said that they were accident victims themselves. In Staten Island, which has the city’s highest car ownership rate, those figures rose to 88% and 44%.

Official action

Figures like these are the reason why state and city officials have been taking road violence far more seriously in recent years. This has led to programs like New York City’s Vision Zero initiative. Launched in 2014, Vision Zero’s goal is to eliminate traffic accident deaths and serious injuries completely by 2024. Even city leaders now concede that reaching this goal is unlikely.

Members of the public serve on juries

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may pay close attention to studies and surveys like the one conducted by Transportation Alternatives because they provide insight into the opinions and attitudes of the people who make up jury pools. After learning that seven out of 10 prospective jurors have likely either been injured in a traffic accident or know somebody who has, attorneys may urge clients accused of crimes like vehicular manslaughter or hit-and-run to consider plea agreements.