5,569 people suffered personal injury in 20,551 traffic accidents in New York City last May. Among them were 2,534 motorists, 1,755 passengers, 430 cyclists and 850 pedestrians.
While looking at past statistics, we notice a seasonal factor that causes the number of crash injuries to always increase during the month of May compared to the previous months of February, March and April. Last May the auto accident injuries in New York City increased to a record number.
In May 2013, before Vision Zero, 4,988 people suffered injuries in NYC crashes. Then the Vision Zero program started and the number of crash injuries declined to 4,621 in May 2014. It increased again slightly to 4,788 in May 2015 but stayed below the Pre-Vision Zero number of injuries recorded in May 2013. In May 2016, it peaked above 5000 and never went back below that level for the last 3 years. 5,415 crash injuries were recorded in May 2016 and 5,314 in May 2017.
Vision Zero initiatives have helped curb the number of fatal crashes, however the global number of traffic accidents in New York City keeps on increasing as well as the injuries resulting from these accidents. (Click on Graphs for full size view)
Its’s mostly motorist injuries that are causing the total number of crash injuries to rise
A record number of 2,534 motorists were injured in traffic accidents in New York City in May 2018 compared to respectively 2,358, 1,630, 1,557 and 1,731 in May 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Over the last 5 years the number of motorists injured in traffic accidents increased by 146% while the number of all other road users (passengers, pedestrians and cyclists) injuries slightly declined or at least stabilized.
Distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents in New York City. Are drivers alone in their vehicle more prone to be distracted than those with a passenger in their car? Is distracted driving the main cause of all these drivers injuries?
Despite a decline in motor vehicle accident fatalities in New York City, pedestrians continue to be the road users the most at risk of dying in a crash
The graph below clearly shows that the street safety initiatives launched as pat of the Vision Zero program lead to a decline in fatal crashes. So far, since the beginning of 2018, the monthly number of people dying in traffic accidents was constantly below 20. This is the first time this occurred since Vision Zero started.
Pedestrian fatalities and pedestrian injuries are both on a declining trend in New York City. 7 pedestrians were killed and 850 of them were injured in traffic accidents in New York last May. For the last 10 months the monthly number of pedestrian deaths never went above 10. This never occurred in the past 5 years. Pedestrian injuries are continuing to decline as well.
Cyclist fatalities in May have been stable at 1 over the last 4 years while injuries have also somewhat stabilized over the last 3 years after the peak of 2016
1 person died and 430 others were injured in 550 bicycle accidents in New York City last May. The total number of bicycle accidents for the month of May reached its highest in May 2015 with 610 bike accidents. That was the only time that this number went over 600 in May. The global stabilization of bike accidents and the resulting injuries and deaths over the last 3 years may be correlated to the growing number of protected bike lanes installed in the City as well as the implementation of other Vision Zero initiatives to protect cyclists. Last year the DOT added 77 miles of bike lanes in New York City including 25 miles of protected bike lanes.
The De Blasio administration has been pushing New Yorkers to use more sustainable ways of commuting through the city to decrease carbon emissions. These days, an average of 460, 000 bike trips are recorded every day in the city, a 156% increase over the last 10 years.
The bike share program Citi-Bike that started 5 years ago has been an important factor in the increase in bike rides in the city. In 2014, Citi Bike recorded 8 million rides. This number increased to respectively 10 million, 14 million, and 17 million bicycle rides in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
April and May are usually the months with the lowest number of motorcycle accidents in NYC
Last May, 78 motorcycle accidents were reported to the NYPD compared to 49 in April and respectively 68, 55, 17, 27 and 36 in May 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Last May, the number of NYC motorcycle accidents was more than double what it was in May 2013 and almost 5 times what it was in May 2015.
Bus accidents always peak in May but this year was slightly better than the two previous years
There were 760 bus accidents in New York City in May 2017 compared to respectively 771, 830, 743, 697 and 691 in May 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Globally however, bus accidents in the city stayed on a rising trend.
Truck accidents continue to be a concern in New York City
Lat May, 1,689 truck accidents were recorded by the NYPD compared to 1,399 the previous month and 1,665 in May 2017. Since March 2016 the monthly number of truck accidents never went back below 1,000.