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New York Car Accident Statistics: Which NYC Borough Is the Most Dangerous?

nyc car accident
Around 1.4 million New York City households own a car, and the total population sits at more than 8.6 million. Add to this the more than 178,000 people who visited every day in 2018 and you’ve got a recipe for high car accident rates. Many people wonder how true the rumors are about the frequency of someone being involved in an NYC car accident. Continue reading to find out everything you need to know.

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Are There a Lot of Car Accidents in New York City?

New York City is known for its crazy driving. Someone only needs to drive in the city for five minutes to know those aren’t just rumors. But does this crazy driving relate to a lot of car accidents?

Recent statistics show that yes, it does. There are a lot of NYC car accidents every year. Thousands of people are injured or killed during these accidents.

NYC Car Accident Overview for 2018

To understand how many car accidents there are in New York, it helps to look at the basic facts. In 2018 alone, there were 228,047 car accidents spread out between the five boroughs.

You can break this number down to see how often accidents are occurring. The numbers average out to around 19,000 a month or 678 daily.

Break it down even further and you see that an NYC car accident is happening every two minutes. This is a lot of car accidents. A contributing factor is a dense population.

Car Accidents By Borough in March 2019

The NYPD released a report about the car accidents which happened in March of 2019. This is the most recent report easily available to the public. The statistics in this report are broken down by borough to make it easier to understand where accidents are happening most frequently.

The five boroughs in New York City include:

  • Manhattan
  • Bronx
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens
  • Staten Island

There is a great discrepancy between how many car accidents are happening in each borough. Let’s look at this in greater depth below.


In March of 2019, there were 3,922 total car accidents in Manhattan. These accidents resulted in 655 injuries, including those of 76 cyclists and 185 pedestrians. Four people died as a direct result, including two pedestrians.

Based on current statistics, around 40 people die in Manhattan car accidents each year. More than 4,000 people will go to the hospital emergency room annually for injuries sustained through motor vehicle accidents in this borough alone.


In March of 2019, there were 2,021 total car accidents in the Bronx. As a result, 812 people were injured, including 169 pedestrians. Four pedestrians were killed.

Annually, the Bronx averages a total of 48 deaths directly caused by motor vehicle accidents. This is considerably lower than in other places, like Brooklyn and Queens.


March of 2019 saw 5,543 total car accidents in Brooklyn. As a direct result, there were 1,388 injuries sustained, including those of 78 cyclists and 322 pedestrians. Three pedestrians were killed in these accidents.

Brooklyn car accidents cause an average of 94 deaths annually. This places it as one of the highest-ranking boroughs in terms of NYC car accident deaths.


Queens saw 5,515 total car crashes in March of 2019. As a direct result, there were 1,224 injuries, including those of 42 cyclists and 237 pedestrians. Three pedestrians were killed in these accidents.

Queens has the unfortunate distinction of having the highest average number of annual car accident-related injuries. There are more than 15,000 people treated for auto-related injuries in Queens each year. There is also an average of 93 deaths reported from car accidents each year in Queens, NY.

Staten Island

In March of 2019, Staten Island only saw 1,054 total car accidents, which is significantly less than the other NYC boroughs. In these accidents, 208 were injured, including three cyclists and 23 pedestrians. There were no car accident-related deaths in Staten Island.

Staten Island only has an average of 17 deaths caused by car crashes each year. This means the borough has the lowest annual death rate in terms of motor vehicle accidents.

Which Boroughs Are the Most Dangerous for Car Accidents?

Looking at the statistics for March of 2019 alone, you can see that some boroughs are significantly more dangerous than others. But which are the most dangerous?

  • Highest Annual Death Rate: Brooklyn (94)
  • Highest Death Rate in March 2019: Manhattan (4) and the Bronx (4)
  • Highest Annual Injury Rate: Queens (15,000+)
  • Highest Injury Rate in March 2019: Brooklyn (5,543)
  • Highest Number of Cyclists Injured: Brooklyn (78)
  • Highest Number of Pedestrians Injured: Brooklyn (322)

As you can see, Brooklyn sits at the top of several of the most dangerous categories. Brooklyn tops the list in the highest annual death rate. It also tops the lists for March 2019 in the highest injury rate, the number of cyclists injured, and the number of pedestrians injured.

What Caused NYC Car Accidents?

Most car accidents in New York City were caused by distracted driving. In fact, more than a quarter of them were. According to the recent statistics, the top ten leading causes of accidents in NYC were:

  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Fatigue
  • Other/unknown causes
  • Backing up improperly/unsafely
  • Loss of driver consciousness
  • Improper turning or failure to use the turning signal
  • Prescription medications
  • Driver inexperience/new drivers
  • Slippery pavement or poor road conditions

As you can see, most of the common causes of an NYC auto accident can be avoided. Paying proper attention while driving could cause a significant drop in NYC car accident statistics.

The 20 Most Dangerous Intersections in NYC

You can further define the statistics based on where the accidents happened. These statistics show that the following are the most dangerous intersections for having an NYC car accident:

  1. Flatbush Avenue and Grand Army Plaza (Brooklyn) – 14 reported
  2. Flatbush Avenue Extension and Tillary Street (Brooklyn) – 13 reported
  3. East 96th Street and Madison Avenue (Manhattan) – 12 reported
  4. 8th Avenue and West 42nd Street (Manhattan) – 12 reported
  5. 2nd Avenue and East 36th Street (Manhattan) – 12 reported
  6. Farmers Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard (Queens) – 12 reported
  7. 9th Avenue and West 42nd Street (Manhattan) – 11 reported
  8. 3rd Avenue and East 59th Street (Manhattan) – 11 reported
  9. Linden Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue (Brooklyn) – 11 reported
  10. Brookville Boulevard and Rockaway Boulevard (Queens) – 10 reported
  11. Bruckner Boulevard and Hunts Point Avenue (Bronx) – 10 reported
  12. Buckner Boulevard and East 138th Street (Bronx) – 9 reported
  13. 20th Avenue and Whitestone Expressway (Queens) – 9 reported
  14. Atlantic Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue (Brooklyn) – 9 reported
  15. Richmond Avenue and Victory Boulevard (Staten Island) – 9 reported
  16. East 233rd Street and White Plains Road (Bronx) – 8 reported
  17. 3rd Avenue and Hamilton Avenue (Brooklyn) – 8 reported
  18. Eastchester Road and Waters Place (Bronx) – 7 reported
  19. Bainbridge Avenue and East Gun Hill (Bronx) – 7 reported
  20. Horace Harding Expressway and Main Street (Queens) – 7 reported

Staten Island once again proves itself the safest place in terms of auto accidents. Of the 20 most dangerous intersections in New York City, only one of them is located in Staten Island.

The 20 Most Dangerous Highways, Bridges, and Tunnels in NYC

The statistical information offered listed accidents occurring on highways, bridges, and tunnels separate from inner-city intersections. The most dangerous of these, according to the statistics, include:

  1. Interstate 495 (Queens) – 230 reported
  2. Belt Parkway (Brooklyn) – 155 reported
  3. Grand Central Parkway (Queens) – 144 reported
  4. Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Brooklyn) – 129 reported
  5. Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive (Manhattan) – 117 reported
  6. Major Deegan Expressway (Bronx) – 108 reported
  7. Cross Bronx Expressway (Bronx) – 94 reported
  8. Van Wyck Expressway (Queens) – 89 reported
  9. Cross Island Parkway (Queens) – 85 reported
  10. Bruckner Expressway (Bronx) – 71 reported
  11. Belt Parkway (Queens) – 70 reported
  12. Henry Hudson Parkway (Manhattan) – 68 reported
  13. Staten Island Expressway (Staten Island) – 68 reported
  14. Gowanus Expressway (Brooklyn) – 64 reported
  15. Bronx River Parkway (Bronx) – 54 reported
  16. Harlem River Drive (Manhattan) – 45 reported
  17. Triborough Bridge (Manhattan) – 27 reported
  18. Hutchinson River Parkway (Bronx) – 26 reported
  19. Brooklyn Bridge (Brooklyn) – 17 reported
  20. Prospect Expressway (Brooklyn) – 14 reported

This is another list where Staten Island only has one spot. Only the Staten Island Expressway made it to the list of NYC’s most dangerous highways, bridges, and tunnels.

Avoiding an NYC Car Accident

With such startling numbers and high fatality rates, most people are wondering what they can do to prevent being involved in an NYC car accident.

Pay Attention 

Most car accidents in New York City were caused by distracted driving. Whenever you’re driving, you need to place all your attention on the road.

Stay off your phone. This includes phone calls, texting, and checking your emails. To play it safe, place your phone in your glove box or center console if possible.

You also want to avoid distractions from passengers. The more passengers you have in your vehicle, the higher the risk of being in an automobile accident are.

Appropriate Street Crossing

Many of those injured in car accidents were pedestrians. This is particularly dangerous because pedestrians have no metal between them and the vehicle. The high impact is one of the reasons pedestrian-related accidents have such high fatality rates.

Protect yourself when walking by crossing the streets at clearly marked intersections. Look both ways before crossing, even if indicators state it’s your turn.

Avoid Road Rage

Road rage is when someone driving a vehicle becomes too angry. When drivers become this angry, they might make inappropriate decisions that can cause accidents.

If you feel yourself becoming too angry, take a few deep breaths. Practice not reacting to other drivers. The more you practice, the more it will become second nature.

If another driver is yelling or becoming angry with you, it’s best to avoid them. Stay focused on the road and don’t respond to their behaviors.

Don't Drive Under the Influence

A large portion of car accidents is caused by impaired driving. You should never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking or taking recreational drugs. If you take a prescription medication that says you shouldn’t drive, then don’t.

When you’re under the influence, your reaction time is greatly diminished. This means you won’t be able to stop fast enough in the event of an emergency. Swerving is also common while under the influence.

Use Blinkers

Inappropriate use of blinkers was one of the top ten most common causes of NYC car accidents. Remember to always use your blinkers so the vehicles around you know you plan to turn. The blinker should be used before you plan on turning, not at the last moment.

Watch Road Conditions

Another common cause of accidents was road conditions. Pay attention to the road ahead of your vehicle. Poor road conditions that are slippery, wet, icy, or otherwise dangerous can be made less hazardous when precautions are taken.

Adjust Speed Accordingly

The high traffic in New York means you shouldn’t be able to speed. On the highways and parkways, however, traffic moves more freely. Generally, you should obey the posted speed limit.

The posted limit is the suggested speed for good conditions, however. If the weather is bad, you should reduce your speed accordingly. This includes in the rain, snow, sleet, or even high winds.

Obey Road Rules

Many car accidents in NYC were caused because people failed to obey basic road rules. Remember to yield to another vehicle if they have the right-of-way and always ensure it’s safe to back out before doing so.

What to Do When Involved in a Car Accident

If you become involved in an NYC car accident, it’s important to know the right steps to take. The very first thing to do is see if you or anyone else involved has been injured. Call the police right away so an ambulance can be sent to the scene.

If you or a passenger is injured, allow the paramedics to treat you. They will probably choose to take you to the closest hospital. Don’t argue with them because many complications of car accidents don’t affect you immediately.

If you haven’t sustained any injuries, you’ll want to call someone to tow your car (if applicable). You will also want to call your car insurance company and visit a medical doctor as soon as possible. Preferably, both of these calls can be made within 24 hours of the accident or within 24 hours of being released from the hospital.

What To Do If You Were Involved in an NYC Car Accident

If you were one of the thousands who was unfortunate to be involved in an NYC car crash, you need to seek medical attention for any injuries resulting from the accident right away.

Call 1-800-897-8440 to find an experienced auto accident doctor near you today. Don’t delay; some injuries can be hidden, call today, and get on your way to recovery!



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