Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys



Jay Dankner Weighs In On New York City’s Auto Accident Open Data Portal


New York City’s two-year-old Open Data portal, which publishes daily statistics on where vehicle crashes happen in the five boroughs, who they involve, their causes and their locations is information the lawyers at the top auto accident injury law firm of Dankner Milstein, P.C. decided to share with readers of this blog. “We thought it would be very useful,” Jay Dankner, managing partner of the firm said, “to provide our readers with traffic accident data accumulated over the most recent 12 month period for which the information is available, so that New Yorkers can be informed and cautious as drivers or pedestrians.”

From April 2014 to April 2015 there were more than 200,000 collisions, according to Open Data. Almost a quarter of these accidents resulted in injury or death. There were more collisions in Manhattan than in any of the other four boroughs, but the reason had more to do with the fact that Manhattan is just more densely populated than elsewhere in the city. In fact, Queens had marginally more accidents than the other boroughs, accounting for 29.5% of the total number of accidents.

The percentage of collisions resulting in at least one injury ranged from 23.6% to 29.2% across four of the boroughs but was considerably lower in Manhattan, at 16.9%.


To give a clearer picture of how traffic accidents in New York City are distributed across time and geographical space, the Open Data tracking system focused on a recent one-week period, in which more than 4,000 collisions occurred and almost a thousand people were hurt. While certain parts of the city clearly have higher average traffic levels than others, which naturally means they have more motor collisions, interestingly, the time of day also makes a significant difference regardless of location.

It should come as no surprise to the hundreds-of-thousand of commuters who travel to and from work every day in the city, that the incidence of traffic collisions rises sharply from 7 AM to 9 AM, and then levels off until 3 PM., when it begins to rise to its highest level between the 3 PM. and 6 PM rush hour.

Accidents By Precinct

Zooming in more tightly to city precincts, the 109th Precinct in Queens, which includes the neighborhoods of Downtown Flushing, East Flushing, Queensboro Hill, College Point, Malba, Whitestone, Beechhurst, and Bay Terrace, had the most traffic collisions of any precinct in New York City

What’s more curious and remains something of a mystery to city traffic officials, is how many of those collisions in the 109th precinct resulted in injuries: 8.6 per 100. This is less than half the rate of the 105th Precinct (also in Queens),

which had the second highest number of accidents, but 18.1 injuries per 100 collisions.

The 105th Precinct actually ranked fourth in April 2015 for injuries per 100 traffic accidents. The 46th precinct, in the central part of the West Bronx, had the highest rate in the city: 19.8 per 100 collisions. None of the precincts in the top 10 for injuries per 100 collisions were in Manhattan.

People On Foot

When Open Data ranked New York City precincts by injuries to pedestrians per 100 collisions, Manhattan comes into sharper focus. The 13th Precinct, in lower Manhattan, tied for fourth place, and the 6th Precinct, in Greenwich Village and the West Village ranked 8th. The 66th Precinct, in Borough Park, Brooklyn, where drivers have failed most often to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, ranks highest in pedestrian accidents with 10.2 per 100 collisions. The average rate of pedestrian injuries per 100 collisions throughout the 5 boroughs is 4.4.

People On Bicycles

The 88th Precinct, the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn) ranked highest for cyclist injuries at 7.7 per 100 collisions — four times higher than the NYC precinct average. The 66th Precinct ranked second highest for cyclist injuries per 100 collisions.

Intersections, Highways, Bridges & Tunnels

We’ll now zoom in even closer to individual intersections and include a look at highways, bridges and tunnels.

The intersections with the most collisions were in Midtown Manhattan on high-traffic streets that are used by 25,000 to 75,000 vehicles per day.

The Belt Parkway was the most dangerous roadway in Brooklyn in April 2015 with 155 collisions, in which 57 people were injured and one motorist was killed.

Flatbush Avenue, one of Brooklyn’s major traffic arteries, had 166 collisions in April 2015, with 38 people injured – six of who were pedestrians.

Interstate 495, also known as the Long Island Expressway, had the most collisions in Queens in April 2015 – 54 people were injured in 230 accidents, 30 of whom were motorists, 23 passengers, and one a pedestrian. The Major Deegan Expressway saw the most people injured (108), in April 2015.

Staten Island had considerably fewer collisions in April 2015 than the other four boroughs, with 102 out of 903 in total occurring on highways or bridges or in tunnels.

Causes of Accidents

Just over a quarter of the traffic accidents that happened in New York City between May 10, 2014 and May 10, 2015 were caused by the driver of the vehicle taking his or her attention off the road. Interestingly, in New York City, drivers distracting themselves didn’t cause as many injuries as drivers distracted by their passengers. NYPD’s figures show that 18.5% of accidents caused by driver distraction resulted in at least one injury, compared to 67.3% of accidents caused by passenger distraction.

People Taking Taxis

Taxi collisions were slightly more likely to involve injuries than regular passenger vehicles. According to Open Data, this could be because taxi drivers in New York frequently don’t wear seat belts, nor are they legally obliged to; many taxi passengers, regrettably, also often forego the use of seat belts.

When most people think of a yellow taxicab, they think more specifically of Manhattan. According to the 2015 Taxicab Fact Book compiled by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, 90.5% of all yellow taxi pick-ups occur in Manhattan, followed by the airports (3.5%) and Brooklyn (3.1%). As such, the majority of collisions involving taxis happen in Manhattan too, but not 90.5% – in fact, the total number of collisions is 75.1%. Queens, which only accounts for 1.5% of taxi pick-ups, had 10.5% of taxi collisions between April 2014 and April 2015.

Accidents involving taxis that resulted in injuries showed some interesting differences between boroughs as well. In the Bronx, 30.5% involved injuries, compared to only 17.1% in Manhattan.

According to studies conducted by the NYDOT, the reason why the percentage of collisions resulting in at least one injury is considerably lower in Manhattan than the other four boroughs is probably speed – or rather a lack of it. According to the NYDOT’s GPS data, the average speed of a New York City taxicab in 2012 was 10.2 miles per hour. “This doesn’t make injuries from collisions impossible,” Dankner warned. “If you’re unlucky enough to be involved in a collision in Manhattan, you’re less likely to get hurt than if you were in the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Queens.”

And, Dankner added, “Unfortunately accidents such as those detailed in the statistics, have become a way of life in our city. The lawyers at Dankner Milstein, PC are here 24/7 to help all those injured in any type of automobile, motor vehicle, bicycle or pedestrian accident; give us a call; we are here to help.”

For more information, contact the top New York auto accident injury law firm of Dankner Milstein, P.C. by calling 212-751-8000. Or you can E-mail one of the firm’s lawyers for a free consultation Over 500 million dollars recovered for our clients.


Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.



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