116 bicyclists, 504 pedestrians, 1,116 motor vehicle passengers and 1,795 motor vehicle drivers were injured in traffic accidents in New York City during the month of November for a total of 4,039 people injured. Another 28 people died in similar circumstances, among them were 6 cyclists, 13 pedestrians, 1 passenger and 8 drivers. (click on graphs for full size)
While the total number of monthly deaths reached a record high for the month of November since Vision Zero was launched in 2013, the total number of monthly injuries was at its lowest since 2013 for the month of November. Since the beginning of 2020 when the Covid pandemic started, the streets of New York City are less busy than usual which might explain why the monthly number of people injured in traffic accidents for the entire year stayed below the trendline. However less traffic has lead to speeding and other reckless activities which resulted in more traffic fatalities.
Because of the pandemic, the city saw an increase of people using bicycles to commute. However riding a bike in New York City remains dangerous despite new bike lanes that are being implemented all over the city. While cyclists infrastructure are decently developed in Manhattan it is not the case in the other boroughs especially in the Bronx where Citi Bike has implemented new bike shares but protected bike lanes are still rare. As a result the number of NYC bicycle accident injuries and deaths are exploding. Last November 6 people died in bicycle accidents compared to respectively 1,0, 2, 0, 0, 1, 2 and 2 in November 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. This is the second time in the last 3 months that the monthly number of bike accident deaths reached a record high. The number of injuries also jumped to 504 last November compared to respectively 246, 285, 366, 346, 276, and 280 in November 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. The number of bicycle accident injuries more than doubled from November 2019 to November 2020. The total number of bicycle accidents was also on the rise with 537 accidents in November compared to respectively 367, 375, 400, 465, 454, 383 and 368 in November 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. While the graphs below clearly show that the total number of bicycle accidents and the resulting injuries are seasonal and reach their peaks during the summer all trendlines are on the rise and over the recent months bicycle accidents injuries and deaths have all reached record highs.
The winter months are usually more deadly for pedestrians because the sun goes down around 4h30 pm in the city and the visibility declines fast. As a result it is more difficult for motorists to see pedestrians. Last November 13 pedestrians lost their life in New York City compared to 12 the previous month and 11 during the same month a year earlier. The pedestrian fatalities remain on a decline trend in the city thanks to the multiple Vision Zero initiatives. As a reminder before Vision Zero 25 pedestrians died in New York City in November 2013. Except for a peak at 20 in November 2015, pedestrian deaths mostly stayed between 9 and 14 during the Vision Zero era.
Pedestrian injuries remained lower than usual last November, 624 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents in New York City in November 2020 compared to 637 in October 2020 and 936 in November 2019.
With most tourists and visitors gone, the lower number of injuries mostly reflects the decrease in pedestrian activities in the city while increasing speed and recklessness related to emptier streets have kept the number of deaths stable.
Motorcycle accidents were higher than usual last November. 185 accidents were reported to the NYPD. Because of the pandemic more people than usual are continuing to travel with their motorcycles during the colder months.
612 truck accidents were reported last November compared to 679 in October and 1349 in November 2019. Several factors might explain the drastic decline of truck accident between November 2019 and November 2020:
- since the beginning of last year vehicle collisions resulting only in property damage are not required to be reported to the police
- a significant decline in commercial activities due to the pandemic has decreased the number of trucks circulating in the city
- more space on the road might have lead to easier maneuvers for truck drivers
Similar factors also lead to a significant decline in the number of bus accidents reported to the NYPD. Additionally because of the pandemic, traveling with large groups in buses is not recommended. 207 bus accidents were recorded last November compared to 272 in October and 575 in November 2019.