new york car accident statistics

New York is a very populous state where the roads are always busy. All of this traffic creates prime conditions for nasty accidents, which happen pretty often throughout the state, especially on Long Island.

Yet, surprisingly, New York state does not rank incredibly high when it comes to fatal accidents. This is especially true when accounting for the state’s high population and volume of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per year.

Despite that silver lining, a high volume of traffic accidents still causes serious injuries and a number of tragic deaths per year.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a recent New York car accident, exercise your right to legal guidance regarding any injury claims. Insurance companies routinely underestimate the value of damages and overlook certain coverage areas. Having a Long Island car accident lawyer assist with your case can increase your chances of claiming full compensation.

Call 631-543-7070 to speak with an experienced injury lawyer near you from Carner & DeVita during a free, no-obligation consultation.

How New York Ranks for Car Accident Deaths

New York State 2018 Fatal Car Accident Rankings

PopulationVehicle Miles Travelled (VMT)Crash DeathsDeath Rate per 100,000 pop.Death Rate per 100M VMT
#4#5#14#50#48
Source: IIHS, 2019 https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state

Relatively speaking, New York state is doing fairly well when it comes to keeping its car accident rates low, as revealed by a 2018 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report. While the state is the fourth-most populous and has the fifth-highest volume of vehicle miles traveled, it ranks 14th in overall crash deaths compared to every other U.S. state.

Furthermore, when accounting for New York’s massive population and sizeable volume of vehicle miles traveled, New York is considered the #1 safest state by population rate and #3 by VMT. Granted, areas like New York city have massive populations that rarely drive, but the state as a whole sees heavy traffic.

Based on these measures, New York state is doing quite well from a road traffic safety perspective.

How Many Car Accidents Happen in New York State Per Year?

New York State 2018 Car Accident Statistics

TotalFatalSerious InjuryAll InjuriesProperty Damage Only
434,5968829,585121,989311,725
Source: ITSMR TSSR, 2020 https://www.itsmr.org/TSSR/

According to a state data resource* New York sees an enormous volume of car accidents per year. Despite this, the majority of accidents (72%) fortunately result in either property damage only (PDO) or minor to moderate injuries (26%).

While the overall proportion of fatal accidents (0.22%) and serious injuries (2.38%) is low, both injuries and deaths are more likely to occur in certain road accident situations.

New York State 2018 Pedestrian Accident, Bicycle Accident, and Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Total Pedestrian CrashesFatalPedestrian CrashesTotal Bicycle CrashesFatal Bicycle CrashesTotalMotorcycle CrashesFatal Motorcycle Crashes
15,5662695,877304,932149
Source: ITSMR TSSR, 2020 https://www.itsmr.org/TSSR/

Almost 2% of pedestrian accidents are fatal, nearly eight times higher than the proportion for all accidents. Most shocking of all, 3.02% of motorcycle accidents are fatal – over 13 times higher!

Just over 97% and just under 96% of pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents result in injuries, respectively.

*About the data: New York state car accident statistics are compiled by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), which has operated since 1978 as a bridge between the State University of New York system and the New York State government. All traffic data captured by official crash reports via the Accident Information System (AIS) is entered into the New York State Traffic Safety Statistical Repository (TSSR). The data is publicly available to explore, download, and use for most other purposes.

Common Contributing Factors to New York Car Accidents

When looking at the data for crashes that have contributing factors listed in their report, several particular scenarios jump out. What may come as a surprise to no one is that all of these factors are human-related.

New York State 2018 Risk Severity By Crash Factor

Crash Factor TypeTotal CrashesFatalPersonal InjuryProperty Damage Only
Human-Related422,5801,166 (0.28%)138,564 (32.79%)282,850 (66.93%)
Vehicle-Related16,92627 (0.16%)4,927 (29.11%)11,972 (70.73%)
Environment Related75,35682 (0.11%)12,667 (16.81%)62,607 (83.08%)
Source: ITSMR TSSR, 2020 https://www.itsmr.org/TSSR/

Simply put, accidents caused by vehicle-related problems or environmental factors aren’t nearly as deadly or dangerous as driving errors humans commit daily. While all three have a fairly low portion of fatal accidents, human-related factors are nearly twice as likely to cause a death compared to other factors.

Furthermore, human-related factors are significantly more likely to cause an injury compared to a vehicle problem and almost twice as likely as an environmentally-related crash.

Top Human-Related Causes of Fatal Accidents

The following are the human-related crash factors that have the highest proportion of accidents that are fatal. That means you are more likely to die in an accident if one of these factors is present.

  1. Texting while driving – 3.23% fatal
  2. Failure to follow Pedestrian/Bicycle traffic rules – 3.15% fatal
  3. Failure to keep right – 1.57% fatal
  4. Illness-related accident – 1.4% fatal
  5. Driver lost consciousness – 1.35% fatal
  6. Illegal drug use – 1.21% fatal
  7. Alcohol use – 1.17% fatal

Based on these statistics, you are less likely to cause a fatal wreck if you completely black out compared to if you are texting and driving, so keep those hands free!

Top Human-Related Causes of Injury Accidents

Many of the same culprits from the “fatal” list reappear here, but there are also a few new additions.

  1. Failure to follow Pedestrian/Bicycle traffic rules – injuries 95.22% of the time
  2. Using headphones – injuries 76.32% of the time
  3. Driver lost consciousness – injuries 74.68% of the time
  4. Illness-related accident – injuries 66.91% of the time
  5. Disobeying traffic control device – injuries 50.62% of the time
  6. Prescription drug-related – injuries 45.05% of the time
  7. Illegal drug use – injuries 44.79% of the time

Headphone use is an outlier on this list. Its presence indicates the vital need to keep your ears open and your mind focused while driving, walking, bicycling, or going anywhere on Long Island near traffic.

Car Accident Statistics for Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties)

Long Island 2018 Car Accident Statistics (Nassau & Suffolk Counties)

CountyTotal AccidentsFatalSerious InjuryAll InjuriesProperty Damage Only
Nassau40,3066164711,33028,915
Suffolk36,03712384111,42724,487
Source: ITSMR TSSR, 2020 https://www.itsmr.org/TSSR/

Long Islanders experience quite a high number of car accidents each year. Despite Suffolk County having a slightly higher population then Nassau County (1.48M vs 1.35M), the latter has a higher number of accidents. Yet, Suffolk County has a higher volume of fatal accidents, injuries, and serious injuries.

Moreover, both Suffolk and Nassau Counties have a higher rate of fatal pedestrian and motorcycle accidents than the New York State average.

 Nassau County, Suffolk County2018 Pedestrian Accident, Bicycle Accident, and Motorcycle Accident Statistics

CountyTotalPedestrian CrashesFatalPedestrian CrashesTotal Bicycle CrashesFatal Bicycle CrashesTotalMotorcycle CrashesFatal Motorcycle Crashes
Nassau85022304325511
Suffolk59243302734815
Source: ITSMR TSSR, 2020 https://www.itsmr.org/TSSR/

Just over 2.5% of pedestrian crashes are fatal in Nassau County, while a staggering 7.26% of Suffolk County pedestrian accidents are. In 2018, both Nassau County and Suffolk had 4.31% of their motorcycle accidents result in fatalities.

Get Motivated Legal Representation for Your Long Island Car Accident

Carner & DeVita’s Long Island car accident lawyers are ready to hear about your case. For over 60 years, we have sought to provide quality legal representation to Long Islanders, especially those who have been injured and don’t know where to turn. We are your legal advocates and advisors during your time of need.

Call a car accident attorney on Long Island for a free, no-obligation case review now when you dial 631-543-7070 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.