24 cyclists, 116 pedestrians, 17 motor vehicle passengers and 57 drivers were killed in 209,291 auto accidents in New York City in 2019. The total number of accidents recorded last year was significantly lower than the 3 previous years during which it was above 227,000 however traffic fatalities were higher last year than the two previous years.
After reaching a record low at 199 in 2018, crash fatalities in New York increased to 214 last year. Since 2013 traffic fatalities gradually went down every year. This is the first year since Vision Zero was implemented in 2014 that fatalities went back up from one year to the other. While fatalities are globally on a declining trend despite the recent increase last year, the number of people injured in car accidents in New York is on a rising trend. NYC Auto accident injuries reached a record high last year and were above 6,000 for the first time. They slightly decreased in 2019 but kept around the 6,000 level. The increase in injuries sustained in car crashes is mostly due to a rising number of drivers being injured. One reason might be that because the speed limit was lower in the city, less people are dying in car accidents but more are injured. Distracted driving might be another reason why more drivers are getting injured in auto accidents in New York.
Bicyclists are the only category of New York road users who continue to experience a rising trend of accidents, injuries and deaths. After cyclists fatalities reached a record low at 9 in 2018, they reached a record high at 24 in 2019. Last year as bicycle fatalities were surging quickly, Mayor de Blasio announced a new bike safety plan entitled the Green Wave. The plan is:
- to build 30 miles of protected bike lanes in the city annually
- to improve intersections design
- to deploy NYPD enforcement to protect cyclists
- to create a truck safety task force
- to develop safety policies and to continue the outreach and education program with Vision Zero campaign educating drivers on cyclists safety.
While cyclist fatalities surged last year, injuries declined slightly with a total of 4,207 cyclists injured in 2019 compared to 4,281 in 2018. Expect for 2014 when injuries sustained in NYC bicycle accidents went down to 3,960, bicycle injuries stayed above 4,000 every year and continue to be on a slightly rising trend. 5,585 bicycle accidents were recorded by the NYPD in 2019. There were more accidents last year than in 2018 and in 2017 but less than in 2016 when the number of bicycle accidents in the city reached a record high at 5,902.
116 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in New York City last year compared to 112 in 2018. After a record low at 102 in 2017, pedestrian fatalities gradually rose again over the last two years but not as much as in 2016 when they reached 134 or before Vision Zero in 2013 when they climbed to 168. Globally since Vision Zero started, pedestrian fatalities are on a declining trend. Pedestrian injuries are also on a declining trend. 10,206 pedestrians were injured in auto accidents last year in New York compared to 10,835 in 2018 and 10,649 in 2017. Since Vision Zero started in 2014, this number never went back above 11,000 like it was in 2013.
Last year, truck accidents decreased for the first time since Vision Zero started. 16,672 truck accidents were recorded by the NYPD in 2019 compared to 17,987 in 2018. Trucks are among the most dangerous vehicles for pedestrians and cyclists. Last year a total of 26 people were killed in truck accidents. 12 of them were cyclists and 14 of them were pedestrians. A new Vision Zero campaign was recently launched targeting men who drive trucks and SUVs.
The number of bus accidents decreased in 2019 and reached its lowest number since 2013. 6,707 bus accidents were recorded in New York City compared to 7,138 in 2018 and 6,729 in 2013. The trendline now indicates a slight decline which hopefully will last.
Despite a slight decline in 2019, Motorcycle accidents are on a rising trend since 2013 and for the last four years they always stayed above 2,500. There were 2,513 motorcycle accidents reported by the NYPD in 2019 compared to 2,546 in 2018.