1,393 pedestrians, 695 bicyclists, 2,564 passengers and 4,332 motorists were injured in car accidents in NYC during the first 3 months of the year compared to respectively 2,206, 715, 3,306 and 5,032 during the same period a year earlier. After a peak in the first quarter of 2019 the number of injuries sustained in crashes in the city declined in 2020 and reached a record low in 2021.
New York car accident fatalities followed the same trend. 22 pedestrians, 1 cyclist, 5 passengers and 10 motorists lost their life in traffic accidents in New York during the first quarter of 2021 compared to respectively 26, 1, 4 and 10 during the first 3 months of 2020.
In a city that has not yet returned to its usual level of activity, it make sense that less people would be injured or killed in crashes.
While looking at injuries and deaths sustained by the different category of road users, all numbers were at record lows or at the same level as a year before except for passengers fatalities that saw one more death in Q1 2021 compared to Q1 2020.
The number of pedestrian injuries significantly declined and was for the first time below 2000 as many New Yorkers are still working from home or on an alternate schedule and European tourists are still not allowed in the country because of the Covid19 restrictions on travel. New York pedestrian injuries are on a declining trend mostly because less pedestrians were in the streets during the first 3 months of 2020 and 2021.
NYC pedestrian fatalities were also at a record low during Q1 compared to the same period of the 8 previous years. 22 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in New York City between January 1st and March 1st 2021 compared to respectively 26, 27, 26, 31, 27, 23, 31 and 44 during the same period of 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.
During the C0vid19 crisis more people than ever used a bike to commute in New York City. 695 of them suffered injuries in traffic accidents during the first quarter of the year compared to respectively 715, 643, 606, 607, 643, 355, 399 and 510 in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. While lower than in the same period of 2020, bicycle accident injuries remain at a very high level. Since Q1 2016 the number of NYC bicycle accident injuries remained above 600 and went above 700 last year.
One cyclist died during the first trimester of 2021. The accident occurred in the Bronx which remains one of the areas of New York City that is the most dangerous for cyclists to ride as not much has been developed to protect them. After a record high in 2019 when 6 cyclists died during Q1, the number of cyclist deaths remained at 1 during the first quarters of 2020 and 2021. Cyclists deaths are usually low at this time of the year as less cyclists use their bikes during the winter months.
Motorists have been the most reckless road users during the covid19 crisis. With less traffic, speeding has become more frequent than usual and distracted driving remain the most common factor in car accidents. Despite a decline during the first trimesters of 2020 and 2021, motorist injuries have been on a growing trend since 2015. 4,332 motorists were inured in crashes during Q1 2021 compared to 5,032 and 5,731 during the same period of 2020 and 2019.
Motorist deaths and bicycle deaths were the only two categories that stayed stable in Q1 compared to the same period a year earlier. Motorist accident deaths were indeed higher during the first quarter of 2020 and 2021 than during the first quarter of 2019. 10 motorists died in NYC during Q1 2021 compared to respectively 10, 9, 13, 8, 13, 8, 15 and 15 during the same period of 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.
Passenger injuries were at a record low during the first quarter of the year and for the first time below 3,000. 2,564 motor vehicle passengers sustained personal injuries in crashes in New York City between January 1st 2021 and March 31st 2021 compared to respectively 3,306, 3,957, 3,788, 3,720, 3,395, 3,824, 3,970 and 4,173 in Q1 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. The number of passenger injuries dropped below the 4,000 bar after the implementation of Vision Zero in 2014 and fluctuated between 3000 and 4000 during the de Blasio administration. It is the first time ever that it went below 3000. Again slower activity due to the Covid19 crisis is a factor in this decline.
5 motor vehicle passengers died in NYC crashes during the first quarter. This is one more than during the first quarter of 2020 and the same as the first quarter of 2019. The number of passengers dying in car accidents during these first three months of the year went down to 3 when Vision Zero started in 2014, jumped back to 8 in 2015 and has been fluctuating between 2 and 6 in the years that followed. Globally passengers fatalities during Q1 in New York City are on a declining trend.