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Is Vision Zero Reducing Traffic Fatalities in San Francisco?

June 12, 2021

In 2020, there were 30 traffic-related fatalities. So, no, Vision Zero is, unfortunately, NOT reducing traffic fatalities in San Francisco. Having 30 lives lost to traffic accidents is unacceptable, and each of these deaths represents the loss of a loved one or a friend. These 2020 traffic fatalities are a 3% increase from 2019’s fatality rate, and 11% above the yearly average since the implementation of Vision Zero in 2014. The fatalities were caused by 28 fatal crashes, which is the exact number of fatal crashes in 2019. Despite not being on track to achieve its main goal of zero serious injuries and traffic deaths by 2024, the city is still committed to realizing the Vision Zero goal

What is The Goal of Vision Zero?

Vision Zero believes that decreasing traffic deaths in the Golden City streets could only be realized via a safe systems approach, which incorporates livability and safety into the streets more effectively. This approach entails designing more forgiving and efficient road systems that consider human vulnerability and errors. If successful, this safe transportation system will help safeguard people from severe injuries and death.  

Vision Zero in The Time of Covid-19

2020 was a strange year for everyone, and this also applies to the results of Vision Zero that year. While national estimates indicated fewer vehicles traveling around the city in 2020, it also indicated 4.6% more vehicle crashes and deaths than in 2019. However, it’s too premature to determine the reason for these traffic fatalities despite less driving in the city, and the complete data haven’t been released yet. On the other hand, initial findings reported evidence of higher traffic speeds, higher cannabis and alcohol sales, increased alcohol and/or drug use in drivers involved in collisions, and decreased seatbelt use. In addition, it’s estimated that median traffic speeds increased 22% in urban areas from April to October 2020.

The traffic fatality trends in San Francisco must be examined in the wider context of various key factors, even if these impacts were lessened last year. The city supports an ever-growing residential population and is battling problems on streets associated with homeless people and substance use, as well as increased traffic, especially with all the rideshare app and delivery app drivers driving around. Fortunately, pedestrian fatalities were at their lowest in 2020, a first, since Vision Zero was rolled out. Also, deaths of people biking or walking on the streets have held steady or decreased when compared to the national trends of increased deaths of people biking and walking. 

Need Legal Advice? Call a San Francisco Traffic Accident Attorney

For any questions about traffic laws or filing a claim against a liable party responsible for a traffic accident that resulted in your injury, contact Bogaards Law today. We can explain your legal rights and help you determine the most suitable legal options fit for your case. Schedule a consultation with one of our San Francisco traffic accident lawyers by calling us or filling out our online form


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