NYC motorist deaths spiked during the lock-down while pedestrian deaths reached a record low
9 motorists and one passenger died in traffic accidents and one cyclist was fatally sideswiped by a speeding bus. No pedestrian deaths were reported during the entire month. NYC car accident fatalities caused by speed and recklessness increased significantly in April during the lock-down.
Globally, the number of traffic accidents recorded by the NYPD in April dropped to 4,037 in April 2020 compared to 10,877 in March and 16,6332 in April 2019 as New York Streets stayed mostly empty because of the Covid-19 lock-down order. The number of reported accidents was approximately 4 times lower than what it was during the same month a year earlier when the city was not affected by the pandemic.
NYC Auto Accident injuries were also at their lowest with 1,287 people injured in April compared to 3,099 in March and 4,701 in April 2019. Drivers and passengers were the categories with most people injured.
Speeding was a major issue during the lock-down. Several people died and several others were injured in car accidents related to speeding or drag racing during the month of April in New York City. The speeding problem during the lock-down was reflected in the auto accident deaths statistics for April.
While the lock-down officially started on March 20 and New Yorkers were asked to stay home for the next few months, more people died in car accidents in April than in March. 9 motorists died in car crashes in April 2020. This is the highest number of monthly motorist deaths in New York City since October 1918 when 10 motorists died in motor vehicle accidents. The end of April was particularly deadly with 4 people dying in crashes during the last weekend of April. Speeding was the cause of all of them.
Most New Yorkers stayed home during the lock-down and as a result, no pedestrian deaths were reported to the NYPD during the month of April compared to 3 in March and 10 during the same month a year earlier.
Pedestrian injuries dropped to 139 in April compared to 538 the month before. Similar data are expected during the month of May followed by an uptick as New York City is gradually re-opening for business in June.
The number of bicycle accidents dropped by half and so did the number of people injured in bicycle accidents. The decrease in bicycle accident injuries is not as drastic as the decrease in pedestrian injuries because many New Yorkers who still needed to commute during the lock-down opted to ride a bike rather than taking the subway. The number of people considering using a bike in the city after the lock-down is expected to increase significantly as bike stores all over the city (and all over the world) are reporting a boom in bicycle sales. Street safety advocates are also calling on the Mayor and the DOT to create more space for cyclists to safely commute.
The number of cyclists making deliveries also spiked in April as restaurants were closed and New Yorkers had only two options to eat: going to the supermarket and cook or have food delivered by restaurants at home. One cyclist died in April while making a delivery in Brooklyn. 67 year old Tadeusz Czajkowski was riding his bicycle on Rogers Avenue in Flatbush, Brooklyn, when he was sideswiped by a MTA bus driving at high speed. The police said that the cyclist was attempting to make a left turn but video footage and pictures of the accident show that the bus was traveling very closely too the cyclist at the time of the accident. Further investigation will be necessary to determine the exact cause of the deadly accident.
Very few bus accidents were reported in April. With schools closed until the fall and tourists not allowed to visit the city bus traffic was limited to mostly MTA buses. 47 bus accidents occurred in NYC in April 2020 compared to 338 in March 2020 and 579 in April 2019.
Truck accidents were also at a record low despite an increase in home-delivery orders during the lock-down. Package delivery employees working for UPS and Fedex have been extremely busy driving around the city and delivering consumer products of all kinds. However the risk of accidents was limited as the streets were almost empty. Additionally truck traffic related to construction was halted for all non essential construction sites. A record low of 246 truck accidents were recorded in the city in April.