Types of Car Accidents & New York Crash Statistics


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.

Recent New York Traffic-Related Injury Statistics

For the most recent year reported, 371,368 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 1,103 fatalities and 11,174 serious injuries. Over 100,000 additional people suffered minor to moderate injuries in these accidents.

The following number of traffic accidents occurred in these counties:

  • 29,438 in Queens County
  • 38,877 in Suffolk County
  • 36,631 in Nassau County

In addition, 13,348 people were injured in traffic accidents in Nassau County during the most recent reporting year. Moreover, 19,166 people were injured in traffic accidents in Queens County, while another 14,305 people were injured in traffic accidents in Suffolk County during the same year.

In March 2022 alone, 8,660 motor vehicle collisions occurred in NYC, according to the NYPD. These crashes resulted in:

  • 1,782 injured motorists
  • 1,289 injured passengers
  • 732 injured pedestrians
  • 294 injured cyclists

In 2021, there were 36,743 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 New York and Long Island Traffic Accidents

The number of fatal car accidents seems to increase by the year.

According to statistics published by the NYPD, the following traffic fatalities occurred in March 2022 in New York City:

  • 3 motorists
  • 4 passenger
  • 8 pedestrians

Throughout the state of New York, 371,368 traffic collisions occurred during the most recent reporting year. Of these, 67,240 were fatal or injury-causing accidents that occurred in Nassau, Queens, or Suffolk Counties.

These counties experienced 282 combined fatalities:

  • 145 in Suffolk County
  • 76 in Nassau County
  • 61 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 36,743 total crashes that occurred throughout the city in 2021:

  • 37,106 motorists were injured
  • 7,501 pedestrians were injured
  • 4,948 cyclists were injured
  • 129 motorists were killed
  • 115 pedestrians were killed
  • 18 cyclists were killed

When Do Most Accidents Happen in New York City and 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 – 7,398
  • Queens County – 4,090
  • Suffolk County – 7,668

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

Leading Causes of Auto Accidents in NY

In analyzing the 36,743 motor vehicle collisions that occurred in NYC in 2021, the NYC Crash Mapper attributes more than one-third of them (11,330) to driver inattention or distraction.

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

  • Failure to yield the right of way – This factor contributed to 7,940 accidents in Nassau County, 3,273 crashes in Queens County, and 7,143 accidents in Suffolk County in a recent reporting year, according to the Traffic Safety Statistical Repository.
  • Unsafe speed – Unsafe speed contributed to about 6,500 accidents in Nassau, Queens, and Suffolk Counties in that same year and 323 accidents in NYC in March 2022.
  • Backing up unsafely – Backing up unsafely contributed to more than 4,000 crashes in Nassau, Queens, and Suffolk Counties in one recent year.
  • Drugs – Illegal drugs contributed to 51 accidents in Nassau County, 34 in Queens County, and 103 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 NY drivers who had blood alcohol concentration levels at or above the legal limit were killed in traffic accidents in the most recently reported year.
  • Following too closely – With so much traffic in NYC, it’s no wonder that following too closely accounted for 745 accidents in the city in March 2022.
  • Improper passing or lane usage – This factor caused 467 crashes in NYC in March 2022.

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 NYC 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 New York City car accident lawyer by your side throughout this ordeal can give you 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 City, 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 in 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