NYC Auto Accident Deaths at Record High in February 2022 While Crash Injuries Increase but Remain Lower than During Pre-Covid19 Era
10 pedestrians, 8 passengers and 6 drivers died in crashes in New York City in February. No cyclists fatalities were reported to the NYPD during this month. 266 bus accidents, 577 truck accidents and 56 motorcycle accidents were reported among the total 7,261 motor vehicle collisions recorded in February.
Traffic accident fatalities in New York City reached a record high for the month of February with 24 people dying in traffic accidents compared to respectively 10, 17, 12, 16, 13, 18, 15, 12 and 20 in February 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. Traffic accident fatalities in the city last February were even higher than what they were in February 2013 before Vision Zero started. The trendline which had been steadily declining during Vision Zero is now almost flat. Since last February ,monthly car accident fatalities have been at the level of the trendline or above which is quite unusual and quite worrisome.
The high number of car accident fatalities in New York City last February is mostly due to a record high number of car passengers fatalities (see category in red in the graph below, click on it for full size). 8 motor vehicle passengers died in crashes last February compared to 5 in January 2020 and 2 in February 2021. Since Vision Zero started and even a year before, the highest total monthly passengers fatalities were 6 in April 2014 and 6 in July 2015.
The number of pedestrian deaths last February remained pretty much similar to previous years data for this month while motorist fatalities were below 10 for the second consecutive month and so far no cyclist died since the beginning of the year.
In February 2020, the number of people injured in crashes reached 4,006 which was a record high for a month of February. Then, the Covid19 crisis started and traffic activity in New York City dropped significantly. As a result, a year later, auto accident injuries reached a record low for a month of February at 2,503. Now that activity increases again in the city, this number is increasing again as well and reached 3,279 last February. It remains below the trendline, which, for a month of February, is usual.
Among those injured last February were 1421 drivers, 961 passengers, 194 cyclists and 703 pedestrians. While pedestrians usually have the highest number of monthly fatalities, motorists usually have the highest number of monthly injuries. This is because during a crash, someone driving a car is better protected than someone walking in the street.
10 pedestrians died in car accidents in New York City in February compared to 11 in January and 7 in February 2020. In 2013, before Vision Zero started, pedestrian fatalities reached 13 in February 2013. They went down to 8 in February 2014 which coincides with the very beginning of Vision Zero measures. A year later, in February 2015, they were back to 11 and have been oscillating all the following years around 10 with their lowest at 7 in February 2016. The trendline of pedestrian fatalities in New York City remain on the decline. However it is interesting to notice that pedestrian fatalities during the month of February were usually below or at trendline level but never above it until February 2019. This year again pedestrian fatalities in February are above the trendline.
Pedestrians injuries almost doubled between February 2021 and February 2022. Pedestrian injuries were also above the trendline but still below pre-Covid19 numbers with 703 pedestrians injured in car accidents in New York City in 2022. A month before, in January 2022, 657 pedestrians were injured in crashes and the year before in February 2021, 372 of them suffered injury in a crash. Pedestrian injuries reflect pedestrian activity in the city. In February 2020, just before Covid19 hit the city, 819 pedestrians were injured in the city. This number dropped to its lowest in Aril 2020 and gradually increased again. In February last year, with a lot of New Yorkers still working at least partially from home and tourists banned to visit, the pedestrian activity in the city was subdued and only 372 pedestrians were injured in February 2021. Pedestrians activity in the city has been increasing since the beginning of the year and so did the pedestrian accidents resulting in injuries.
There were no cyclist fatalities recorded in February 2022 and none in January either. In New York City. the months of January and February are the coldest and except for delivery people who use their bikes all year long, many New Yorkers do not ride their bike during these months. Since 2013 the highest number of fatalities during a month of February was 2 in February 2019 and 2016, followed by 1 in February 2014. No cyclist fatalities were reported during the month of February of all the other years.
194 people were injured in bicycle accidents in New York City last February compared to 161 a month before and 135 in February 2021. Bicycle accident injuries are among the most seasonal crash injury data. Over the last few years, monthly bicycle accident injuries have been oscillating around 200 during the winter months and reached around 500 during the summer months. The Covid19 crisis lead to an increase of the number of people riding bikes and as a result bicycle accident injuries reached close to 700 during the summer of 2020. Last year, bicycle accident injuries reached above 600 during the month of May and then decreased around 500 during the summer months which was a different pattern than usual.
The other traffic data that are extremely seasonal are the NYC motorcycle accidents. They go from below 100 in February to above 300 during the summer months. 56 motorcycle accidents were reported to the NYPD last February compared to 64 in January 2022 and 29 in February 2021.
577 truck accidents were reported to the NYPD last February compared to 558 a month before and 609 during the same month a year earlier. Trucks are among the most dangerous vehicles in the city especially for pedestrians and cyclists. In New York, It is estimated that around 70% of accidents involving a collision between a truck and a cyclist or a pedestrian result in serious injury or death. They do represent a challenge for New York City as the internet has changed the way New York consumers are getting their goods and the number of trucks travelling in the city has increased significantly over the last years.
266 bus accidents were recorded in February 2022 compared to 300 in January 2022 and 234 in February 2021. Bus accidents have been on the rise since the spring of 2020 as bus traffic has been increasing. With foreign tourists allowed back in the country, schools reopening and globally more activities taking place in the city, more buses are circulating in the city and as a result more accidents occur.