70 people died in traffic accidents in New York City during the third quarter of 2022. Among the victims were 26 pedestrians, 4 cyclists, 15 motor vehicle passengers and 25 motor vehicle operators. Pedestrians and motor vehicle operators accounted for most of the deaths while passengers fatalities reached a record high.
Since Vision Zero started in 2014, auto accident fatalities gradually declined from 82 during the third quarter of 2013 to a record low of 56 fatalities during the third quarter of 2019. However, everything changed during the Covid19 crisis of 2020 when NYC streets were almost empty and speeding caused traffic fatalities to peak again and reach 77 during the third quarter of 2020. Since then, the number of fatalities during Q3 never went back below 70.
While fatalities remained higher than usual, car accident injuries stayed lower than usual
13,719 people were injured in auto accidents in New York City during Q3 2022 including 5,764 motorists, 4,480 passengers, 1,563 cyclists and 1,912 pedestrians. Over the last 3 years, auto accident injuries have been oscillating around 14,000 while before the Covid19 crisis they were close to or slightly above 16,000.
With 26 fatalities during Q3, pedestrians remain the category of road users that has the highest number of deaths
Since Vision Zero started in 2013, pedestrian fatalities have been on a declining trend and have not been above 30 since Q3 2016. Actually last year during Q3 2021 they reached a record low with 24 pedestrians killed .
Pedestrian injuries also remain on a declining trend
From July 1st 2022 to September 30, 1,912 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents compared to 1,760 during the same period, a year earlier. Before the covid19 crisis, pedestrian injuries during the third quarter never went below 2000.
4 cyclists died in traffic accidents in New York City during the third quarter of 2022 compared to respectively 5 and 9 in Q3 2021 and Q3 2020
The only time bicycle accident fatalities were lower than 4 during the 3rd quarter of the year was during Q3 2018 when a record low of 3 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents. The months of July, August and September are often months during which more people are riding bikes in the city because of the warm weather and therefore, there are usually a higher number of accidents during this period of the year. Over the last 10 years, the trend of bicycle accident fatalities during Q3 is rising slightly. It is mostly due to the increase in bicycle accident fatalities recorded just after the Covid19 lockdown when many New Yorkers frightened to travel by public transportation decided to ride a bicycle instead of the subway. While new bike lanes are being installed all over the city, some streets are still extremely dangerous to navigate with a bike, especially for newbies.
Except for a peak in 2020 after the covid19 lockdown, bicycle accident injuries have been remaining pretty stable during Q3
1,563 cyclists were injured in accidents in New York City during Q3 2022 compared to 1,406 during Q3 2021.
25 motor vehicle operators died in crashes during Q3 2022 compared to respectively 33, 31, 21, 26, 22, 13, 16, 21 and 36 in Q3 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 ,2015, 2014 and 2013
The number of motorists deaths went back below 30 during the third quarter of 2022 after two years during which the number of motorists fatalities during Q3 reached numbers never seen since the beginning of Vision Zero. The rise in fatalities occurred when the streets were less busy and speeding became an issue. At 25 during Q3 2022, the number of motorist fatalities remain high compared to the same period during the pre-covid19 era.
The number of motorists injured during the third quarter of 2022 was low with 5764 injuries reported to the NYPD
Before the Covid19 crisis, the number of motor vehicle operators injured in accident during Q3 was usually above 7,000. It is difficult to understand exactly what are the factors behind the decline in injuries. Because the NYPD stopped to respond to minor crashes at the same time that the Covid crisis started in April 2020 it is difficult to understand if the decline in crash with injuries is related to a change of habits after the pandemic or to less minor injuries being reported to the NYPD.
The most preoccupying during Q3 was the jump in passenger deaths that reached a record high at 15 during the third quarter of this year
The highest this number went was 10 during Q2 2010. When looking at the monthly number, the second graph below with the monthly data shows that since the summer of 2020, passenger fatalities have been much higher that what they used to be before the pandemic.
4,480 passengers were injured in crashes in New York City compared to 4,820 a year earlier
Passenger injuries remain slightly lower that what they were before the Covid19 crisis. The only time Q3 passenger injuries went below 5,000 during that period was during Q3 2015.