15 people died and 5,450 were injured in 19,983 auto accidents in New York City in October. October is usually a bad month for car accidents in the city. As shown in the graphs below the total number of accidents was above the trend line in October. The monthly number of traffic injuries was also the second highest number ever recorded in the city. The highest number of crash injuries was 5,557 last May. While the total number of crashes and related injuries have been steadily growing over the years, the number of people dying in crashes declined since 2013 when Vision Zero was launched. The number of people dying in car accidents went from 35 in October 2013 to 25 in October 2014, 26 in October 2015, 14 in October 2016 and 15 this last October. In 4 years fatal crashes declined by more than 50%. Additionally for the last two years the number of traffic deaths was below the trend line for the month of October while in the past it was always above it during this specific month.
Despite all the Vision Zero efforts, crash injuries are on a rising trend. Since last May their monthly number stayed above 5,000. Motorist injuries are the main cause of this rising trend. While in October 2013 motorist injuries accounted for less than a third of the total number of injuries, four years later they account for almost half of them. On the other hand, passenger injuries have been declining over the last four years. Distracted driving is suspected to be a factor. When drivers are alone in their cars they maybe more tempted to use their electronic equipment than when they travel with passengers.
The number of monthly deadly crashes in New York City stayed below 25 for more than a year. It is the first time that the number of monthly fatal accidents stayed below 25 for that long. The highest number was 24 in June followed by 22 in September. The last time this number was above 25 was in June, 2016 when 29 people died in car accidents in the city. The city speed reduction from 30 mph to 25 mph may have been a factor in the recent decrease in fatal crashes.