In May, a Brooklyn motor vehicle accident claimed the life of a well-loved father and friend. 74-year old Mai Zhang was struck and killed while riding his bicycle along Benson Avenue in Brooklyn. The driver of the Nissan SUV involved in the accident and a doctor who happened to be passing by attempted to save the man but Zhang’s injuries proved too much. He was pronounced dead when EMTs arrived. The NYPD did not be press charges, saying that no “criminality” was involved in the case.
Data collated by Streetsblog shows that seniors, like Zhan, are much more likely to die in auto accidents in New York City-whether they’re in vehicles or not. In fact, they are 40 times more likely to die than some other population segments. The DOT-to their credit-has recognized this issue and recently launched a pilot program entitled Safe Streets for Seniors. The program is designed to address this elevated risk and target specific “problem areas” within the City. Currently, there are 25 pilot areas in which this program is being tested.
But some critics say that the program doesn’t go far enough. Transportation safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives released a report in which they push for the expansion of these safe zones for seniors into locations with high populations of New Yorkers over 65. The report notes that of the ten neighborhoods with the highest concentration of elderly in the city, only one made it into the DOT’s plan. The report also suggests that the DOT should focus its efforts in locations where New York City pedestrian accidents have already claimed the lives of senior citizens.
Tragic auto and cycling accidents can leave families devastated and the last thing they need to worry about in such a trying time is finances. If your loved one has passed away in a traffic accident, contact an experienced New York City motor vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122 to learn your rights.