Mayor Bill de Blasio brought the Vision Zero plan to New York City in 2014, with the goal of reducing the number of deaths caused by traffic collisions to zero by 2014. While the first two years of Vision Zero led to fewer traffic deaths, the initiative has not been as effective as many New Yorkers hoped.
Every day, auto collisions still occur by the hundreds throughout New York, totaling 53,000 since the start of 2017. Last year, the city actually saw a rise in the number of pedestrian deaths.
Traffic deaths are a reality that New Yorkers will be faced with for the foreseeable future. One way to improve your safety is to be vigilant of neighborhoods where high rates of accidents occur. According to the New York City Data Portal, most accidents that cause injuries are concentrated in these areas:
Central Brooklyn comprises several neighborhoods, including Crown Heights, Ditmas Park, and Flatbush. It’s likely that certain features, such as the busy intersection of Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue, named the most dangerous intersection in New York by the Department of Transportation in 2015, are the primary reason for the high number of accidents.
A 2016 map of New York published by CUNY mathematics student Aleksey Bilogur pinpointed East 138th Street and Alexander Avenue as one of the top 15 most dangerous intersections in the city, with roughly 100 collisions a year.
Intersections near the on- and off-ramps of major bridges and tunnels tend to pose a higher threat of injury, so it is no surprise that DUMBO is one of the most dangerous areas in the city for drivers and pedestrians. Every year, roughly 180 collisions occur at the intersection of Tillary Street and Flatbush Avenue alone.
High speeds, zero traffic lights, and constant merging and lane changes make highways some of the most dangerous places to drive in New York City. Higher speed limits mean that drivers have less time to react to collisions that occur ahead of them.
Vision Zero may be many years away, but in the meantime, it is possible to minimize your chances of being injured in an accident. Whether you are a driver, pedestrian, or cyclist, always remain alert and aware of what is happening around you, and leave yourself enough time to react to collisions or sudden slowdowns ahead.
Bilogur, Aleksey. “Addressing Traffic Fatalities in New York City.” 19 March 2016.
Bilogur, Aleksey. “The Worst Places to Drive in New York City.” 23 March 2016.
Fitzsimmons, Emma G. “New York Traffic Deaths Dip Again. It’s Not Enough, Mayor’s Critics Say.” The New York Times. 10 January 2017.
Guse, Clayton “Map: Find Out Where the Most Dangerous Car Accidents Occur in NYC” Time Out New York 7 April 2017.
Rivoli, Dan. “Brooklyn’s Most Dangerous Intersection is Eastern Parkway and Utica” AM New York 19 February 2015
Yakas, Ben “Interactive Map Reveals the Most Dangerous Intersections in NYC”
Gothamist 1 April 2016.