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Pedestrian Accident Statistics: New York State & City

Pedestrians Injured & Killed: 2013

Our statistics were drawn from the publicly-available data sets published annually by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. You can find more statistics here on their website.

In 2013, 5.4% of the crashes in New York State involved pedestrians.

A total of 16,903 pedestrians were struck, swiped or otherwise hit by cars that year. Less than 2% of these victims walked away from their accidents without injury.

344 pedestrians were killed in New York motor vehicle collisions. Those pedestrians represented 29% of the people fatally-injured by automobiles that year, including drivers and passengers.

In accidents that resulted "only" in personal injury, pedestrians made up almost 10% of the accident victims hospitalized due to their injuries.

Read more in-depth info on distracted drivers and how they factor into the rate of pedestrian accidents in NYC:

How Do Drivers Compare?

2013's total of 304,804 crashes involved 497,857 individual drivers. 625 were killed, and 101,317 were injured. In other terms, a full 80% of the drivers who got in crashes walked away physically unscathed.

According to police records, over 78% of all traffic accidents in 2013 were caused (at least in part) by "human factors."

Driver inattention ranked as the leading human cause of motor vehicle crashes, accounting for almost 25% of all collisions.

Following too closely, or "tail-gating," came in a close second, contributing to nearly 22% of the crashes for which we have police reports.

Pedestrians, on the other hand, were cited for partially causing only 2.5% of these accidents.

Are Pedestrians At Higher Risk In New York City?

Yes, although the potential for crashes involving more than one pedestrian makes a clean analysis difficult.

Around 16% of the City's crashes involved pedestrians, compared to 5% for the State overall.

183 out of the 294 people fatally injured in automobile accidents were pedestrians, or 62% of those killed. Perhaps surprisingly, only 53% of the pedestrians who died in the State were killed in New York City.

11,398 pedestrians were injured, representing 17% of those hurt in collisions citywide.

More pedestrians were injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes (11,581) than there were individual crashes involving pedestrians (11,501). While some pedestrians may not have been injured at all, crashes injuring two or more pedestrians were frequent enough to make up for this fact and more.

What About Drivers?

120,156 drivers were involved in a total of 70,403 New York City crashes. 84 were killed, while 31,921 were injured; slightly less than 74% walked away uninjured.

Almost 8% of the accidents attributed to human factors involved in pedestrian errors.

Pedestrians Injured In 2014

The NYPD releases monthly statistics on pedestrian crashes. Here are the numbers from 2014, although they're "preliminary" and can't be guaranteed accurate:

In total, 10,965 pedestrians were injured and 130 were killed. That's almost 4% less than got hurt in 2013, and an impressive 29% decrease in those fatally injured.

Diagnosing "Vision Zero"

Much has been made of Mayor Bill de Blasio's "Vision Zero" program, a plan of policy changes aimed specifically at decreasing crashes that involve pedestrians. It's definitely too early to say whether or not "Vision Zero" is a success. The program contains 63 new legislative changes, and only several have been put into effect.

But those first three months must have seemed promising. Compared to the first six months of 2014, in which an average of 920.6 pedestrians were hurt, an average of 748 were hurt in July, August and September. But the number quickly crept back up, mirroring almost exactly the injury rates from the latter portion of 2013.

At least one New York City Assemblyman has spoken out against "Vision Zero." Michael DenDekker, who represents portions of Brooklyn and Queens, has criticized the program for ignoring a central cause of pedestrian deaths: failure to yield violations.

Instead of focusing on measures that limit the behavior of drivers, DenDekker thinks de Blasio should turn to give pedestrians more "power" in street situations. His first idea involves "pedestrian first" traffic lights, which would eliminate situations in which both drivers and walkers have a green light.

Drivers who failed to yield the right of way contributed to 20% of crashes attributed to human error in 2013.

For more pedestrian-related accidents, visit:

Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: February 17, 2015
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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