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How Common are Car Accidents in NYC?

Car accidents seem incredibly common in New York City. You may encounter slowed or stopped traffic once or twice a week – on a good week – because of car accidents. However, with millions upon millions of people living in and commuting to NYC, the actual rate of car accidents may not be as high as you might think. The Queens car accident attorneys at Sullivan and Galleshaw have looked into some car accidents statistics to see just how often car accidents occur in the City.

Car Accident Statistics for New York State

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Department of Health both track car accidents statistics. They each keep records of how many accidents occur and what kinds of injuries they cause. The most recent statistics available are from 2014. The DMV keeps statistics for every year from 1995 through 2014, but does not have any more recent statistics. Additionally, the Department of Heath uses statistics from 2012 through 2014, and averages them across that period. We will be using both sets of stats, where appropriate, to help you understand just how common car accidents are in NYC.

According to the NY DMV, there were 299,452 crashes in New York State in 2014. This breaks down to about:

  • 24,954 crashes per month,
  • 5,758 crashes per week,
  • 820 crashes per day,
  • 34 crashes per hour, or
  • One crash every two minutes.

Generally, car accidents are more common on weekdays, and more common around lunchtime and the evening rush hour. However, New York still had thousands of accidents that occurred throughout the year between 9pm and 3am. These had slightly elevated numbers on weekends, especially Friday and Saturday nights, but those numbers of crashes are still less than half the typical number of accidents for the totals from the weekday evening rush.

New York Car Accident Statistics

Of these accidents, 966 crashes were fatal in 2014. That comes to a total of 1,026 people killed in car accidents. The Department of Health says that the average from 2012-2014 was 1,098 deaths per year – so 2014 was actually a bit below average. This state-wide fatality count becomes a rate of 5.6 car accident deaths per 100,000 residents of New York. 2014, in particular, had the lowest recorded death rate of 4.9 deaths per 100,000 residents. Compare this to the highest rate, 8.4 car accident deaths per 100,000 people, in the year 2001.

These accidents are rarely deadly, but still put thousands in the hospital each year. Averaging statistics from 2012-2014, the Department of Health reports that:

  • 12,093 people are hospitalized for car accident injuries each year, and
  • 136,913 people visit the ER for treatment after a car accident each year.

If you were injured in a car accident, it is vital that you seek medical treatment. If you have underlying injuries, like whiplash or spinal cord injuries, you may not notice them until days after the crash. Still, getting immediate medical care can help uncover injuries like traumatic brain injury and other injuries that need immediate treatment.

New York City Car Accident Statistics

The statistics for New York City, specifically, are organized by county. This means looking at the accident statistics for each of the Five Boroughs independently.

Bronx County sees 48 deaths per year due to traffic-related injuries, according to the Department of Health. This is the fourth-leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations, requiring 864 hospitalizations and 10,501 ER visits.

Kings County (Brooklyn) has 94 traffic-related deaths each year. This is the number three cause of hospitalizations and ER visits in Brooklyn. 1,325 people are hospitalized each year in Brooklyn for car crash injuries, and 15,533 visit the ER. Brooklyn is the deadliest of the Five Boroughs for car accidents.

Queens Car Accident Lawyers

In New York County (Manhattan), there are 40 people killed each year in car accidents, 640 hospitalized, and 4,830 sent to the ER. Manhattan likely has lower numbers, due to reduced speed on crowded Manhattan streets.

Queens nearly ties Brooklyn, with 93 deaths per year. In Queens County, this is actually the fourth highest cause of injury-related death, but is the second and third highest cause of hospitalizations and ER visits (respectively). This comes to a total of 1,432 hospitalizations and 15,782 ER visits, placing Queens at the highest number of total injuries per year of any of the Five Boroughs.

Staten Island is the least dangerous of the Five Boroughs, with only 17 traffic-related deaths per year in Richmond County. This is the fourth leading cause of injury-related death, and the third highest cause for hospitalizations and ER treatment. There is a total of 554 hospitalizations and 4,063 ER visits each year in Staten Island.

Of these deaths and hospitalizations, the vast majority are for pedestrians. Occupants of the vehicle are usually the ones seeking ER treatment, but pedestrians are hospitalized for serious injuries more frequently than occupants. If you lost a loved one or were injured in a pedestrian car accident, talk to an attorney today.

Queens Car Accident Lawyers

These statistics help shed some light on just how frequent car accidents are in New York, and how many people are hurt each year. If you were injured in a car accident, call the Queens personal injury attorneys at Sullivan and Galleshaw today. Our lawyers offer free consultations on car accident injury cases. Call (718) 843-0300 today.


Over our many years practicing personal injury law, our highly experienced legal team has earned a reputation for excellence. Our attorneys have appeared on major media outlets such as Fox News and MSNBC . Our firm’s legal accomplishments have been profiled by the New York Law Journal, the Los Angeles Times, ESPN, and the Associated Press. We have won multiple verdicts in excess of $1 million, making us proud members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a prestigious organization which admits fewer than 1% of all attorneys in the United States. We were named Super Lawyers in 2011, and enjoy a perfect 10/10 Superb rating on national attorney database Avvo.

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