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New York car accident statistics

New Yorkers die 59% more often in car accidents than the US average.

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New York takes the No. 7 spot on the list of deadliest states for driving in the US. It holds that spot for both the numbers of deadly accidents and number of people killed, based on our analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash data.

However, the factors involved may not be what you’d expect. Dive into New York’s car accident statistics, looking at demographics for casualties and the types of car accidents.

Over 1,000 New Yorkers die in car accidents each year — 1.6 times more than the US average

On average, 1,087 New Yorkers die in car accidents every year, based on 10 years’ worth of data from the NHTSA Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool.

That number is 1.6 times the US average, which is 684 car accident deaths per year. However, deaths have decreased by nearly 22% from 2010 to 2019.

The number of people killed is slightly higher than fatal accidents because several people might die in the same accident.

YearCar accident deathsFatal accidents

21- to 25-year-olds at the highest risk

In New York, 21- to 25-year-olds die in car accidents the most of any age group. Over a 10 year span, death occurs for this group 1.4 times more often than 16- to 20-year-olds and nearly twice as often as 41- to 45-year-olds.

The next deadliest age group for car accidents is 26- to 30-year-olds.

Age groupCar accident deaths 2019Car accident deaths 2010-2019

Men make up 71% of New York’s car accident deaths

In New York, an average of 772 men die in car accidents each year, compared to 315 women. Men make up around 71% of all of New York’s road deaths, dying 2.5 times more often than women.

Compare car accident deaths by gender, including the average number of deaths across 10 years.

GenderTotal deaths 2019Total deaths 2010 – 2019Average deaths per year

Pedestrians account for 29% of road deaths

In 2019, 271 pedestrians were killed in car accidents, making up nearly one-third of New York’s car accident deaths.

Pedestrian deaths total 2,945 from the years 2010 to 2019, accounting for 27% of all New Yorkers killed in crashes in a 10-year span.

10 deadliest cities for driving in New York

New York City ranks as the deadliest city for driving in the state with nearly 2,449 car accident deaths and 2,347 fatal accidents over a 10-year span. It sees seven times more road deaths than Hempstead, which is the second-deadliest city in New York.

About 23% of all car accident deaths happen in New York City each year.

RankMost dangerous citiesPeople killed in fatal crashes 2010-2019Fatal crashes 2010-2019
1New York City2,4492,347
6Oyster Bay162151
10New Hyde Park8879

Urban vs. rural: 64% of road deaths happen near a city

In New York, city drivers have a greater chance of dying in a car accident than people who drive in the country. In 2019, 600 New Yorkers died in crashes near a city, compared to 330 deaths in rural areas. New Yorkers die nearly twice as often in urban versus rural parts of the state.

Safest cities for driving in New York

All of these New York cities reported one fatal car accident from 2010 to 2019. A 10-year record of almost no deadly crashes is an impressive feat.

54% of New York’s fatal crashes involve speeding and drunk driving

Speeding and drunk driving are the top driver errors leading to a fatal accident. Each makes up 27% of New York’s fatal car accidents.

New York rides close to the percentage of speeding and drunk driving fatalities nationally. Across the US, 26% of fatal crashes involve speeding and 28% involve drunk driving.

However, distracted and drowsy driving are likely underreported because they may be unknown factors in a fatal car accident.

Violation/errorFatal accidents% of New York’s fatal accidents% of US fatal accidents
Drunk driving (Blood alcohol content of .08 or higher)23927%28%

Motorcycle accidents account for 15% of fatal crashes

Motorcycles were involved in 1,560 fatal accidents from 2010 to 2019, averaging 156 motorcycle accidents per year. In 2019, 136 motorcycles were involved in fatal crashes, which is 15% of New York’s fatal vehicle crashes that year.

The NHTSA doesn’t show how many motorcyclists died in these accidents. However, motorcyclists probably account for a majority of deaths since motorcycles provide less protection during an accident than cars.

Single-car crashes are twice as deadly as multi-car crashes in New York

On average, 691 New Yorkers die in single-car crashes each year, compared to 334 people in two-car crashes. Another 62 people die in accidents with more than two vehicles.

Single-vehicle crashes cause 64% of all road deaths in New York. Most major cities stick close to that percentage, except for New York City. In the Big Apple, single-car crashes account for 73% of road deaths, killing an average of 178 people each year.

CitySingle-vehicle crash fatalitiesTwo-vehicle crash fatalitiesTotal fatalities 2010-2019% of deaths from single-vehicle crashes
New York City1,7845412,44973%
Oyster Bay945316258%

New York rush hour is the deadliest time for driving

Overall, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. are the deadliest hours for driving in New York, and 11 a.m. to noon is the deadliest morning hour. This is likely due to more cars on the road from commuters and lunchtime traffic.

However, total fatal crashes stay even between the day and night hours. From 2010 to 2019, 5,145 fatal accidents happened during the day, compared to 5,039 during the night.

HourFatal crashes 2019Fatal crashes 2010-2019
12:00-12:59 a.m.35384
1:00-1:59 a.m.20324
2:00-2:59 a.m.28337
3:00-3:59 a.m.22298
4:00-4:59 a.m.25330
5:00-5:59 a.m.30325
6:00-6:59 a.m.29376
7:00-7:59 a.m.33361
8:00-8:59 a.m.29299
9:00-9:59 a.m.35326
10:00-10:59 a.m.23336
11:00-11:59 a.m.39432
12:00-12:59 p.m.39465
1:00-1:59 p.m.42431
2:00-2:59 p.m.34463
3:00-3:59 p.m.49513
4:00-4:59 p.m.49529
5:00-5:59 p.m.47614
6:00-6:59 p.m.53551
7:00-7:59 p.m.40543
8:00-8:59 p.m.42524
9:00-9:59 p.m.61522
10:00-10:59 p.m.33454
11:00-11:59 p.m.39447

Not surprisingly, the weekend poses the most risk on the road

The most dangerous days to get behind the wheel are Saturday, Sunday and Friday, in that order. Likewise, more fatal accidents happen on Monday than any other weekday.

Day of weekFatal crashes, 2019Fatal crashes, 2010-2019

July is the deadliest month on New York roads

July takes the disreputable rank as the worst month on New York roads. In 2019, 110 people died in car accidents in July, making up 12% of all road deaths.

August and September ride closely behind, each accounting for 10% of the state’s road deaths. Fatal accidents likely tick upward during the summer and fall because many people are taking vacations and enjoying the outdoors.

MonthPeople killed in crashes 2019People killed in crashes, 2010-2019

Cloudy weather factors into 22% of deadly accidents

Of any other type of adverse weather, cloudiness is the most common adverse weather that leads to deadly accidents. Nearly a quarter of New York’s fatal crashes happen under overcast skies, totaling 193 fatal accidents.

Slowing down in fog and using low-beam headlights can improve your visibility, according to The Hartford. If the clouds are too dense, consider pulling off the road — or better yet, plan your travel around the weather forecast whenever possible.


We used the NHTSA’s Fatality and Injury Reporting Tool to compile information about fatal car accidents and the people killed in car accidents in New York. We compared data from 2019 as well as data spanning 10 years from 2010-2019.

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