More people than ever were injured in auto accidents in New York City and the number of cyclists deaths was back at its highest during the second trimester of 2019. Despite a significant decline in the total number of accidents recorded by the NYPD during the period of April, May and June, more motorists, passengers and cyclists were injured in accidents during the second trimester of 2019 than during the same period of 2018. Pedestrians were the only NYC road users that recorded a decline in injuries compared to the same period of 2018.
16,084 people were injured in NYC traffic accidents during the second trimester of 2019 compared to respectively 15,624, 15,315, 15,604, 13,461, 13,703 and 14,443 during the second trimester of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. This is the first time that the number of accident injuries in New York goes over 16,0000 during the second trimester. Motorists are the ones who are the most frequently injured in car accidents. They account for almost half of the cases. Passengers injuries account for almost a third of the injuries.
After a steady decline from 2015 to 2018, auto accident fatalities increased again during the second trimester of 2019. 24 pedestrians, 17 motorists, 7 cyclists and 6 passengers died in traffic accidents in New York City last April, May and June.
It is mostly injuries to motorists that are causing the traffic injuries to reach a record high in the city. Distracted driving continues to be the number one cause of accidents in the city and while Vision Zero has been doing a lot of campaigning to protect pedestrians, not much is being done to prevent distracted driving. During the second trimester of 2019, 7,470 motorists suffered personal injury in a car accident. That’s a 66% increase compared to the 4,915 injuries recorded during the second trimester of 2013 before Vision Zero was implemented.
Passengers injuries steadily declined during the 4 first years of Vision Zero but after reaching their lowest at 4,853 during the period of April to June 2017 they increased again during the same period of 2018 and 2019 to reach 5,077. It would be interesting to find out if someone driving a car alone is more susceptible to be distracted when he or she is alone in the car than when he or she is driving with a passenger. This may partially explain while passenger injuries are on a declining trend while motorists injuries are increasing.
A significant decline in bicycle accidents injuries in 2018 lead to a belief that Vision Zero multiple initiatives to protect cyclists were finally working. Sadly it didn’t last and so far 2019 has been horrible for NYC cyclists. 1264 people were injured in bike accidents in New York during the months of April, May and June. This is the second highest number of injuries for that period since 2013. The number of bicycle accident fatalities was also at its highest with 7 cyclists killed during the second trimester of 2019.
Pedestrians continue to be the road users the most at risk of dying in car accidents in New York City. After reaching their lowest at 18 during the spring of 2018, pedestrian fatalities rose again above 20 to respectively 23 and 24 during the same time of 2018 and 2019. The number of pedestrian fatalities only went once above 30 during the spring since Vision Zero started. It was in 2015. Globally pedestrian deaths are on a declining trend. Pedestrian injuries reached their lowest at 2273 during the second trimester. The only time pedestrians injuries were that low was during the second semester of 2015.