October 28, 2015

Press Release # 046-15
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: Christopher Miller/Julien Martinez:
(347) 396-4177, pressoffice@health.nyc.gov

Health Department Releases New Traffic Fatalities Report: Fatality Rate Declined Between 2000 and 2013

The NYC traffic-related fatality rate is one-third the national rate

Pedestrians comprise more than half of all NYC traffic-related deaths

The Health Department today released a report that shows New York City’s traffic-related fatality rate declined between 2000 and 2013 – from 4.5 per 100,000 to 3.5 per 100,000 New Yorkers. However, traffic crashes continue to be a leading cause of injury related death in NYC, accounting for about 300 deaths in 2013. These include deaths caused by injuries from a motor vehicle crash, including injuries to a motor vehicle occupant, motorcyclist, pedestrian, or bicyclist. While the NYC traffic-related fatality rate is one-third the national rate, pedestrians bear the burden of traffic-related deaths in the city, comprising more than half of all NYC traffic-related fatalities (55%). Nationally, motor vehicle drivers comprised more than half (51%) of all US traffic-related fatalities. This data precedes the implementation of Vision Zero. The new Epi Data Brief, “Traffic Fatalities in New York City,” can be found on the agency’s website .

“While last year we had the lowest number of pedestrian fatalities on record, we continue to enhance our efforts through Vision Zero to reduce the number of New Yorkers killed by traffic crashes to zero,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “Motor vehicle-related deaths still lead child injury deaths in New York City, and this data brief supports the need for the ongoing efforts of Vision Zero to create safer streets for all New Yorkers.”

Traffic-related fatalities also vary in NYC by sex and age group. The rate among males was more than two times the rate among females while older New Yorkers (aged 65 and older) had the highest traffic-related fatality rate compared with children (aged 0 to 17) and adults ages 18 to 64.

Launched in 2014, the Mayor’s Vision Zero initiative was implemented to protect New Yorkers from traffic safety risks. Vision Zero has many initiatives that protect all road users from traffic injuries and deaths. These include:

  • Lowering the default NYC speed limit to 25MPH
  • Red-light and speeding enforcement cameras
  • Redesigning high crash intersections and corridors
  • Targeted enforcement of high risk driver infractions, such as speeding and failure-to-yield
  • Educational programs for school-aged children.

For information on NYC’s traffic safety initiative, visit Vision Zero .

For data on hospitalization and Emergency Department visits for traffic-related injuries, visit the NYC Environment & Health Data Portal .