Auto Accidents statistics for New York City, in the past, were not easily obtained.
Traditionally, you would need to look through local police department reports and spreadsheets to find New York-specific crash statistics. However, in May of 2014, New York City’s OpenData portal started offering easy access to crash information every day – including coordinates of those crashes.
Now that the information is accessible, the next step is to explore these statistics and gain a thorough understanding of why car accidents occur in each of the five boroughs, where they are more common, and how they can be stopped.
As a resident of New York City, you are probably aware of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, which is a rather ambitious goal of reaching zero traffic fatalities by 2024. While reviewing these statistics, we can also explore the plausibility of this goal, and whether 2024 is even possible.
While reviewing critical data from the New York City Police Department, we have compiled data that includes the types of crashes, what caused them, vehicles involved, the number of injuries and fatalities, and where they typically happen in New York City.
When analyzing March 2014 to April 2015, calculating them based on the five boroughs, you can see the following trends:
In total, from March 2014 to April 2015, NYC saw 223,141 accidents, and 24.3 percent resulted in injuries – almost a quarter of auto accidents.
Out of the five boroughs, there were more collisions in Manhattan than the rest for its size, but when it comes to percentages, Queens had the highest number of accidents compared to the five boroughs.
Injuries were lower in Manhattan as well.
From February to March 2015, there was a significant increase in accidents in Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. However, January 2015 saw the lowest number of car accidents for Manhattan, dropping from 3,928 to 3,210. Queens and Brooklyn also experienced decreases in spring 2015, specifically March to April, going from 5,289 to 4,694 for Queens and 5,171 to 4,678 for Brooklyn.
To better understand how these car accidents play out, it is best to look at just one week’s worth of data.
From May 1st to May 7th, 2015, New York City saw:
Naturally, you can expect the city to increase traffic volume on specific days, which also coordinates with the increase in traffic accidents.
The time of day, most certainly plays a role in auto accidents. Forbes, after reviewing the latest statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, found that fatal accidents are more likely to happen at night, while the fewest number of deadly accidents occurs between 4:00 am and 5:00 am. Also, mid-week days have lower fatalities, such as Tuesday and Wednesday.
One study in 2001 found that more fatal accidents occurred just after Daylight Savings than any other time of the year; further proving accident spikes can correlate with the time of the day.
When looking at the numbers for NYC, it is clear that there is a steady increase from 7:00 am to a spike at 10:30 am. However, accidents hit their highest between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm. Accidents decline steadily after 7:00 pm and bottom off at about 3:00 am through 5:00 am, which correlates with data found by Forbes too.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles agrees and states that accidents are more likely between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
While looking at crash data by borough certainly provides insight, one area left untouched is the precincts for NYPD.
When taking data from April 2015 and comparing them by NYPD precincts, you find the following areas have the highest number of collisions for that calendar month:
The most collisions were in the 109th Precinct, and because it is a more significant precinct than the others, it makes sense they would see higher numbers. However, when you compare the numbers closely, the 46th Precinct, which includes West Bronx, actually had the highest number of collisions.
New York City sees a high rate of cyclists and pedestrian accidents with motor vehicles annually.
The area is known to be dangerous for anyone riding two wheels or walking in the city, and the 66th Precinct alone ranked highest for the number of cyclist injuries, but the 88th Precinct was the highest. When it comes to pedestrian injuries, the 66th Precinct was the highest, and it had more than double the rate of the NYC area’s overall average.
Breaking the data down further by intersections, it is no surprise that most accidents were on high-traffic streets. Streets, such as the ones in l Midtown Manhattan have more than 25,000 to 75,000 vehicles travel through there daily.
Also, the Belt Parkway was one of the deadliest roadways for 2015, with 155 accidents, 57 injuries, and one fatality. Another area of concern was Flatbush Avenue, where the area had 166 accidents, 38 injuries, and six of those injured victims were pedestrians.
Interstate 495 was equally dangerous, and it had the highest rate of collisions for April 2015, with 54 injuries out of the 230 auto accidents.
Now that you know the statistics of how often accidents occur, and how many injuries have happened right down to the streets and highways, the next step is understanding the most common reasons for those accidents.
The most common reasons collisions occurred in NYC were:
In NYC, the bicycle is by far the most vulnerable, accounting for 77.5 percent of collisions. Scooters and motorcycles follow closely behind, and first responder vehicles ranked at 10th and 11th.
Taxi vehicles were ranked 5th on the list, and the 19th Precinct saw the most taxi-involved collisions in the year, while the 9th Precinct saw the fewest.
Most of these accidents occurred at low speeds, but that does not mean there is no risk for injury in these collisions. Even low-speed incidents can cause injuries like whiplash and chronic pain.
NYC, if they plan to completely get rid of all accidents or fatal accidents in the five boroughs, has a lot of work to do. Not only will the Mayor need to consider these statistics and make significant legislative changes, but also consider how we can make streets safer for those on bikes, walking, and even riding motorcycles to reduce crashes throughout the city.
If you or your family member have been involved in an auto accident, injured at work, or suffered a slip & fall accident in New York or New Jersey, we invite you to explore our free comprehensive library.
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