NYC Car Accident Statistics

Car accident

There are about 6 million car accidents across the United States every year. Many of those happen right here in New York City. Every month, the NYPD publishes crash data for all five city boroughs. Our team compiled and analyzed the results for 2018. Here’s a breakdown of traffic accidents, including why they happen, where they tend to occur, and who’s usually involved.

Total Reported Collisions in New York City

In 2018, there were 228,047 motor vehicle accidents in all of New York City. This includes collisions involving all motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. That breaks down to between 624 and 625 car accidents every single day in NYC. 

These crashes happened all across the Big Apple:

  • 29.5% in Queens
  • 28.8% in Brooklyn
  • 20% in Manhattan
  • 16.1% in the Bronx, and
  • 5.7% on Staten Island.

As you can see, more than half of all traffic accidents in NYC happen in Queens or Brooklyn. Staten Island accounts for the fewest number of crashes every year.

Accidents Resulting in an Injury

Nearly one out of every five traffic accidents in New York City results in an injury. In 2018, there were 44,300 injury-causing collisions. That’s about 5 car accident injuries an hour. 

  • Brooklyn: 14,112 traffic accident injuries (31.9%)
  • Queens: 13,482 traffic accident injuries (30.4%)
  • Bronx: 7,601 traffic accident injuries (17.2%)
  • Manhattan: 6,896 traffic accident injuries (15.5%)
  • Staten Island: 6,896 traffic accident injuries (5.1%)

Queens and Brooklyn aren’t just home to most of the city’s accidents, these are also the boroughs where the most dangerous crashes happen, as well. Two-thirds of NYC accidents that cause an injury occur in one of those two boroughs.

Fatal NYC Traffic Accidents

Sadly, not everyone who is involved in a car accident in New York City will survive. There are hundreds of fatal accidents every year. In 2018, 197 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents across the city. 

Queens is home to the highest number of fatal accidents. In 2018, the borough saw 69 traffic accident deaths, which is 35% percent of the city’s total. Brooklyn wasn’t far behind, with 58 reported fatalities (29.4%). Manhattan and the Bronx weren’t far behind, with 28 and 33 fatal crashes, respectively. Staten Island reported the fewest number of fatalities in 2018, with 9. 

When Do Most NYC Car Accidents Happen?

In an average month in New York City, there were will about 19,000 car accidents. However, that’s just an average. Some days – and some months – see more accidents than others. According to the NYPD’s crash data, May is the month with the highest number of reported accidents (20,551), followed closely by June (20,479) and October (20,470).

The month with the fewest number of traffic collisions in 2018 was February, when there were only 15,680 reported crashes.

Traffic Accidents Involving Bicyclists in NYC

New York City has gone to great lengths to make its roads a little bit safer for bicyclists. However, bikes are still involved in a significant number of traffic accidents in the city every year. In 2018, there were 4,289 bike accidents across the five boroughs. So, roughly 2% of all traffic accidents in the city involve a bicyclist.

Brooklyn is, by far, the most dangerous borough for riders. It accounts for more than 40% of all NYC bicycle accidents.

The remaining 60% of bike accidents are spread out throughout the other boroughs:

  • Manhattan: 1,253 bike accidents, or 29.2%
  • Queens: 795 bike accidents, or 18.5%
  • Bronx: 463 bike accidents, or 10.8%
  • Staten Island: 61 bike accidents, or 1.4%.

Bicyclists are much more vulnerable to sustaining injuries or dying in a traffic accident than occupants of motor vehicles. For every 10 traffic accidents in NYC that causes an injury or death, one involves a bicyclist. 

Fatal Bike Accidents in NYC

In 2018, every borough with the exception of Staten Island reported at least one bicycle accident fatality. Manhattan had the most (3), while the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens all saw 2 fatal bike crashes.

Summer Months See More Bike Accidents

It might not be a surprise to learn that bike accidents surge in the warm summer months. Months with the highest number of reported bike accidents include:

  • August: 542, or 12.6%
  • July: 500, or 11.6%, and
  • September: 494, or 11.5%.

The fewest number of collisions involving bikes occurred in the months of January and February, with 184 and 201 accidents, respectively.

Traffic Accidents Involving Pedestrians in NYC

No one is more susceptible to injury or death in an accident than a pedestrian. Sadly, pedestrian accidents are quite common in NYC. According to crash data, pedestrians account for a quarter of all traffic-related injuries and fatalities in the city.

Which borough is most dangerous for pedestrians? Brooklyn. In 2018, roughly one-third (33.2%) of all pedestrian accidents in NYC happened there. Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx are also quite dangerous. Those boroughs account for 24.9%, 21%, and 17.3% of pedestrian accidents, respectively. Staten Island reports the fewest number of pedestrian accidents. The borough sees less than 4 percent of the city’s pedestrian-related collisions.

Fatal Pedestrian Accidents in NYC

When it comes to fatal pedestrian accidents, Brooklyn and Queens lead the way. In 2018, both boroughs had 35 pedestrian deaths. Manhattan and the Bronx were a little bit safer, reporting 17 and 15 fatal pedestrian crashes. Once again, Staten Island was the safest, relatively speaking, with just 5 pedestrian deaths last year.

Winter Months Are Most Perilous For Walking

While the summer months are the most dangerous for biking, the winter months tend to pose the greatest threat for walking. Accidents involving pedestrians peak in November and December – perhaps because of increased congestion and traffic due to the holidays. In 2018, there were almost twice as many pedestrian accidents in December (1,295) as there were in July (678).

Motorcycle Accidents in NYC

Every year, there are thousands of motorcycle crashes in New York City. In 2018, there were a total of 2,548. Once again, Brooklyn’s streets proved to be the most dangerous:

  • Brooklyn: 820 motorcycle accidents, or 32.2%
  • Queens: 693 motorcycle accidents, or 27.2%
  • Manhattan: 534 motorcycle accidents, or 21%
  • Bronx: 406 motorcycle accidents, or 15.9%, and
  • Staten Island: 95 motorcycle accidents, or 3.7%.

Summer months see a significant rise in motorcycle collisions. In fact, motorcycle crashes increase by 700 percent between the months of January (49 crashes) and June (346 crashes).

Large Truck and Big Rig Accidents in New York City

New York would likely come to a grinding halt if large trucks weren’t able to venture in and through the city. That’s a shame, because large trucks are involved in a lot of accidents there. In fact, there are roughly 49 truck accidents on NYC roads every single day. 

Truck accidents happen across all five boroughs. According to crash statistics for 2018, the breakdown for truck accidents was as follows:

  • Manhattan: 5,428 truck accidents, or 30.2%
  • Brooklyn: 5,028 truck accidents, or 27.9%
  • Queens: 3,290 truck accidents, or 21.8%
  • Bronx: 3,205 truck accidents, or 17.8%, and
  • Staten Island: 401 truck accidents, or 2.2%.

Does the time of year have any impact on the number of traffic accidents involving large trucks? Maybe. In 2018, there were more accidents in the warm months than in the cooler months. In February, there were 1,163 truck accidents in NYC, compared to 1,689 accidents in May. 

What Causes Car Accidents in New York City?

Car accidents happen every day in New York City. These collisions and crashes happen for a lot of different reasons. However, certain things tend to factor into the equation more often than others. According to the NYPD, the six of the leading causes of traffic accidents in 2018 included:

  • Distraction (30.4%)
  • Following too closely/tailgating (11.5%)
  • Passing improperly or too closely (10.7%)
  • Failure to yield (8.0%)
  • Speeding/aggressive driving behaviors (2.2%), and
  • Alcohol (1.2%).

Distracted driving is particularly problematic in New York City, where roads are heavily congested and shared by cars, trucks, buses, bikes, and pedestrians.  As you can see, distractions – including cell phones, GPS, and passengers – contribute to nearly one-third of all traffic accidents in the city. Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare drivers, who are perhaps more likely to be distracted than other motorists, might share a large part of the responsibility for this serious issue.

Injured in a NYC Crash?

You might be entitled to compensation if you’ve been injured in a car accident in New York City. Contact Mirman, Markovits & Landau, PC to schedule a free initial consultation. We represent clients across all five boroughs, on Long Island, and in Westchester County. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help you fight to maximize your financial recovery today.