Types of Car Accidents/Statistics

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Each year, about 1,000 people are killed in traffic accidents in New York State, and New York City is a particularly dangerous city for traffic accidents.

Each month, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) publishes crash data for all five boroughs. The team at Finz & Finz, P.C. has compiled and analyzed the results of this data and other sources for the most recent reporting years for which the data is available. Below is a breakdown of our analysis of New York auto accident statistics, traffic-related injuries, traffic fatalities, where motor vehicle collisions tend to occur, why they occur, and other important details regarding these accidents.

Traffic-Related Injuries in NY

For the most recent year reported, 447,021 traffic collisions occurred throughout the state of New York, according to the Traffic Safety Statistical Repository maintained by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). These crashes resulted in 881 fatalities and 10,043 serious injuries. An additional 100,000 people suffered minor to moderate injuries in these accidents.

The following number of traffic accidents occurred in these counties:

  • 43,830 in Queens County
  • 42,485 in Suffolk County
  • 41,862 in Nassau County

In addition, 2,551 people were seriously injured in traffic accidents in Nassau County during the most recent reporting year. Moreover, 945 people were seriously injured in traffic accidents in Queens County, while another 886 people were seriously injured in traffic accidents in Suffolk County during the most recent reporting year.

In March 2021 alone, 8,122 motor vehicle collisions occurred in NYC, according to the NYPD. These crashes caused:

  • 1,672 injures to motorists
  • 969 injuries to passengers
  • 521 injuries to pedestrians
  • 300 injuries to cyclists

In 2020, there were 33,211 traffic crashes in New York City, according to the NYC Crash Mapper, a web application that maps vehicle collision data reported by the NYPD.

These crashes are scattered across the five boroughs as follows:

  • 10,311 in Brooklyn
  • 8,491 in Queens
  • 5,717 in the Bronx
  • 4,579 in Manhattan
  • 1,242 in Staten Island

Many of these car accidents resulted in serious injuries, including:

Fatalities from Auto Accidents in New York & Long Island

According to statistics published by the NYPD, the following traffic fatalities occurred in March 2021 in New York City:

  • 5 motorists
  • 1 passenger
  • 9 pedestrians

Throughout the state of New York,447,021 traffic collisions occurred during the most recent reporting year, of which 54,786 were fatal or injury-causing accidents that occurred in Nassau, Queens, or Suffolk Counties. These counties experienced 257 combined fatalities:

  • 115 in Suffolk County
  • 74 in Nassau County
  • 68 in Queens County

NY Statistics on Types of Car Accidents

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (a nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries from motor vehicle crashes through research and evaluation), fatal traffic accidents in New York for the most recent reporting year involved:

  • 251 car occupants (drivers or passengers)
  • 180 pickup and SUV occupants (drivers or passengers)
  • 136 motorcyclists
  • 268 pedestrians
  • 46 bicyclists
  • 17 large truck occupants (drivers or passengers)

In analyzing these fatal traffic accidents, we note that 586 of these accidents involved a single vehicle while 345 involved multiple vehicles.

The NYC Crash Mapper reports that of the 33,211 total crashes that occurred throughout the city in 2020:

  • 32,173 motorists were injured
  • 6,670 pedestrians were injured
  • 5,550 cyclists were injured
  • 128 motorists were killed
  • 86 pedestrians were killed
  • 26 cyclists were killed

Worst Intersections & Highways for Accidents in New York

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 600 (approximately 64%) of fatal accidents that occurred in New York in a recent year happened in urban areas.

Some of the most dangerous roadways in New York are:

  • East 170th St and Grand Concourse – This is known as one of the most dangerous areas in the Bronx for traffic accidents. The wide and long road encourages speeding and reckless driving. It is also the location where the most pedestrians are hit by motorists at night.
  • Hempstead Turnpike/Route 24 – A combination of poor road conditions and a high number of speeders makes this area particularly dangerous.
  • Jericho Turnpike/Middle Country Road/SR 25 – This multilane roadway is known as one of the deadliest in the tri-state area, especially between the towns of Centereach and Ridge.
  • Sunrise Highway/SR 27/CR 39/Montauk Highway – This state road cuts across Long Island, but it is dangerous due to its poor road conditions, lack of sidewalks, and lack of streetlights. These factors make it dangerous for motorists and pedestrians alike.
  • W 40th St and 8th Ave – This busy Manhattan road is full of foot and vehicle traffic on the edge of Midtown. The area is bustling due to the high number of bars, restaurants, and hotels in the area.

Additional dangerous roadways and intersections in New York include:

  • Hooper St. and South Fifth St. in Brooklyn
  • Newkirk Ave. and Argyle Rd. in Brooklyn
  • Newkirk Ave. and Rugby Rd. in Brooklyn
  • South Fourth St. and Keap St. in Brooklyn
  • East Mosholu Parkway N. and Hull Ave. in the Bronx
  • East 168th and College Ave. in the Bronx
  • Field Place and Creston Ave. in the Bronx
  • Goble Place and Inwood Ave. in the Bronx
  • Clinton St. and Rivington St. in Manhattan
  • Ludlow St. and Rivington St. in Manhattan
  • Woodward Ave. and Willoughby Ave. in Queens
  • 37th and 101st in Queens
  • 39th and 111th St. in Queens
  • 89th and 168th St. in Queens
  • Hylan Blvd. and Jefferson Ave. in Staten Island
  • New Hyde Park Rd. & Northern State Parkway in Long Island
  • Old Country Road & Wantagh Parkway in Long Island

When Do Most Accidents Happen in New York City & Long Island?

According to the Traffic Safety Statistical Repository, most traffic accidents in Nassau, Queens, and Suffolk Counties occurred during daylight hours. Specifically, accidents were more likely to occur on weekdays between 3-6 p.m. and the number of car accidents that occurred during those hours were as follows:

  • Nassau County – 10,453
  • Queens County – 19,452
  • Suffolk County – 10,690

Leading Causes of Auto Accidents in NY

In analyzing the 33,211 motor vehicle collisions that occurred in NYC in 2020, the NYC Crash Mapper attributes more than one-third of them (11,113) to driver inattention or distraction.

Other leading causes of accidents in NY based on New York and Long Island car accident statistics include:

  • Failure to yield the right of way – This factor contributed to 9,146 accidents in Nassau County, 6,093 crashes in Queens County, and 7,581 accidents in Suffolk County in a recent reporting year, according to the Traffic Safety Statistical Repository.
  • Speeding or unsafe speed – Unsafe speed contributed to about 6,500 accidents in Nassau, Queens, and Suffolk Counties in that same year and 295 accidents in NYC in March 2021.
  • Backing up unsafely – Backing up unsafely contributed to more than 6,000 crashes in Nassau, Queens, and Suffolk Counties in one recent year.
  • Drugs – Illegal drugs contributed to 77 accidents in Nassau County, 26 in Queens County, and 131 in Suffolk County in the same year, according to the Traffic Safety Statistical Repository.
  • Drunk driving – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that 329 drivers who had blood alcohol concentration levels at or above the legal limit were killed in traffic accidents the same year.
  • Following too closely – With so much traffic in NYC, it’s no wonder that following too closely accounted for 613 accidents in the city in March 2021.
  • Improper passing or lane usage – This factor caused 372 crashes in NYC in March 2021.

Some other notable causes of accidents in New York and Long Island include:

  • Aggressive driving
  • Auto defects
  • Disregarding traffic signal
  • Driver inexperience
  • Eating or drinking
  • Failure to keep right
  • Fatigued or drowsy driving
  • Illness
  • Mechanical failure
  • Obstructed view
  • Passenger distraction
  • Physical disability
  • Poor road design or maintenance
  • Prescription medication
  • Turning improperly

Why You Need a Lawyer If You Were Injured in a NY Car Accident

As the statistics above show, motor vehicle accidents are a common occurrence throughout New York. Roughly three people die every day in a traffic crash in NY, and many more are injured.

Having an experienced NY car accident lawyer by your side throughout this ordeal can give you the peace of mind, knowing that you are in capable hands. You can focus on your recovery while we:

  • Thoroughly investigate how the accident happened and who may be financially responsible for it
  • Gather evidence to establish the cause of the accident and the damages you have sustained
  • Calculate the full extent of your damages
  • Work with industry-leading accident reconstruction experts and medical, financial, and vocational experts who can substantiate your damages and support your case, including testifying on your behalf at trial
  • Negotiation a possible settlement with the insurance company
  • Advise you of your legal rights and strategic options at every stage of your case

If you were injured in a car accident in New York, contact the nationally recognized law firm of Finz & Finz, P.C. Our attorneys are widely respected and known for their impressive results. Stuart L. Finz is our Senior Trial Attorney and CEO. He has been selected as a lifetime member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is listed in the New York Law Journal Report of Largest Verdicts, and has been named by New York Super Lawyers as a top trial attorney for fifteen consecutive years. The Honorable Leonard L. Finz is a former New York State Supreme Court Justice who has been peer-reviewed as one of America’s preeminent trial lawyers. His time on the bench gives him unique insight into the judicial system.

Let us put our experience to use on your case. Our aggressive and skilled legal representation has earned more than $1 billion verdicts and settlements on behalf of our deserving clients just like you. Call us now for your free case review and begin the recovery process today.

Sources: New York City Police Department (NYPD), Traffic Safety Statistical Repository, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, NYC Crash Mapper