NYPD: 16,059 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, 178 Killed in Traffic in 2013

Preliminary NYPD data on motor vehicle crashes, pedestrian and cyclist deaths, and pedestrian and cyclist injuries citywide in 2013.
Preliminary NYPD data on motor vehicle crashes, pedestrian and cyclist deaths, and pedestrian and cyclist injuries citywide in 2013.

Twenty-five people died in New York City traffic in December, and 4,277 were injured, according to the latest NYPD crash data report [PDF].

Based on monthly NYPD figures, 168 pedestrians and 10 cyclists were killed by city motorists in 2013, and 16,059 pedestrians and cyclists were injured. These numbers are preliminary, and official data from the state DMV won’t be available until later this year. In 2012, 135 pedestrians and 17 cyclists were killed by NYC drivers, according to the DMV, and 14,327 pedestrians and cyclists were injured.

Of 134 pedestrian and cyclist fatalities reported in 2013 by Streetsblog and other outlets, 19 were hit-and-run crashes in which the driver or drivers were not immediately caught or identified. Of the remaining 115 crashes, nine motorists were known to have been charged with homicide. In five of those cases, the driver was also charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. One crash resulted from a police chase. In two cases, the driver was accused of running over the victim intentionally. Only once in 2013 was a sober driver charged with homicide for killing a pedestrian or cyclist in a crash that did not involve a personal dispute or fleeing police.

Citywide, at least 17 pedestrians were fatally struck by drivers in December: two pedestrians in Manhattan; three pedestrians in the Bronx; five pedestrians in Brooklyn; six pedestrians in Queens; and one pedestrian in Staten Island. Among the victims were Gloria Mabry, Yunior Rodriguez, Siu Anthony Lee, Noshat Nahian, Marion Kurshuk, Enrique Clemente-Ovando, Vito Colella, Nicole Detweiler, and an unnamed male pedestrian in Brooklyn.

At least one child and two seniors were killed by motorists last month: Noshat Nohian, 8; Gloria Mabry, 74; and Marion Kurshuk, 78.

Across the city, 1,163 pedestrians and 175 cyclists were reported hurt in collisions with motor vehicles in December. Per NYPD policy, few of these crashes were investigated by trained officers.

Of nine fatal crashes reported last month by Streetsblog and other outlets, no motorists were known to have been charged for causing a death. Two drivers were unlicensed; three fled the scene and were not immediately caught or identified. Historically, nearly half of motorists who kill a New York City pedestrian or cyclist do not receive so much as a citation for careless driving.

Eight motorists died in the city in December; 1,394 motorists and 1,545 passengers were injured.

There were 17,260 motor vehicle crashes in the city last month, including 3,212 that resulted in injury or death. There were 203,390 total crashes in 2013, according to NYPD.

Download December NYPD summons data, including 2013 totals, here. Crashes are mapped here. Crash and summons data from prior months is available in multiple formats here.

Below are contributing factors for December crashes that resulted in injury and death.

Image: NYPD
Image: NYPD
  • Larry Littlefield

    Only 10 of those killed were cyclists? No wonder the Post is so ticked off.

    I’m still waiting for the two-way table we were promised. With not just the number of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicle occupants killed and injured but also what killed or injured them.

    Was the pedestrian killed or injured in a fall (a pedestrian-only crash?). By a cyclist? Or by a motor vehicle? And what kind of cyclist or motor vehicle? Riding for exercise, making deliveries, or riding for transportation. A private motor vehicle, taxi, bus or truck?

    Perhaps they aren’t going to produce that table until there is a 1 to put in the pedestrian struck and killed by a bicycle box. I want to see the table with a zero in it.

  • Nathanael

    It’s time to bring back private prosecutions. It’s obvious the DAs in New York City cannot be trusted to prosecute criminals.

  • Kevin Love

    I remember reading one of the “Rumpole of the Bailey” stories about Rumpole doing a private prosecution.

    I note that in New York, DAs may delegate the prosecution of “petty crimes or offenses” to private attorneys.

    Source:

    http://blog.bluestonelawfirm.com/blog-articles-private-prosecution-of-crimes-and-legal-malpractice.html

    Since these crimes are definitely of a serious nature, perhaps a better solution would be to get better DAs.

    What can be done on the private front is reform of civil tort law along the lines of Canada and most European countries so that the car driver would be facing “Strict Liability.” In other words, it would be easier to sue the car driver for damages or wrongful death.

  • It’s super easy already to sue people in civil court, except for the fact that you have to pay for your own lawyers. Advantage of criminal prosecution is that it’s free for the victims, and that once a defendant is found guilty, civil suits (for damages, say) have a much stronger case.

    I support your notion of getting better DAs.

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  • Eric

    Here’s what I would like to know: out of 10 cyclists killed how many were not wearing helmets, and of those how many could have been prevented by wearing a helmet. Same thing for the 4045 injured. We can only guess what the helmet might have done but I’m sure there are many that can just be ruled out where the main injury was to limbs or bodies.

  • lop

    Here’s a start:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/bicyclefatalities.pdf

    • Nearly all bicyclists who died (97%) were not wearing a helmet.

  • Joe R.

    You can pretty much rule out a helmet being of any use whatsoever if a motor vehicle was involved. Last I checked, close to 100% of the bike fatalities and most of the injuries in NYC involve a motor vehicle. Therefore, helmets wouldn’t have prevented any significant number of injuries/deaths.

    The kinds of incidents where a helmet might be marginally useful, such as when a cyclist falls hitting a pothole or other cyclist at low speeds, generally aren’t reported.

  • Joe R.

    That 97% statistic is often thrown around but it’s largely meaningless without the larger context of what percentage of all cyclists wore helmets during the study period. If only 3% wore helmets, then the number of cyclists who died without helmets was merely a representative sample of the helmetless cycling population. Probably nearly 100% of cyclists who die in the Netherlands aren’t wearing helmets, but that’s simply because almost nobody there wears a helmet.

  • lop

    Well it isn’t actually 97%. It was 97% in cases where helmet use was documented in the police report. But…

    ‘For bicyclist deaths occurring in 2004 and 2005 (n=38), documentation of helmet use was more complete (87% or 33). Analysis of helmet use in this subgroup revealed findings similar to the full group: 97% of bicyclists who died were not wearing a helmet. Of the 38 deaths during this time period 29 (or 76%) had head injuries.’

    Surveys of high school students say 14-20% use helmets. Observational studies put it at 49% used helmets off street, 22% on street.

    ‘Among serious injury crashes for which helmet use was documented, 87% of bicyclists were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash; 13% were wearing a helmet. While interpretation is hampered by missing data, the lower level of helmet use in fatal crashes (3% vs. 13%) suggests that not wearing a helmet may be particularly dangerous.’

  • Joe R.

    I take a lot of these data with a grain of salt. It’s entirely likely an impact with a motor vehicle would throw a helmet well away from the crash scene. The police may not find it, or may just assume it didn’t belong to the cyclist involved in the accident.

    Another thing I’ve heard is that helmetless cyclists in general may be more risk prone in their behavior, hence more likely to be involved in crashes.

    In the end the problem with any helmet studies is that by their nature there can’t be a control group. That leaves the researchers free to cherry pick data to make their case either way.

  • Danny Doubleu

    Probably none . Here is a question , how many could have been prevented if we actually had a DA with balls , who wasn’t morally repugnant and actually did his job at protecting vulnerable people just walking on the sidewalk and not expecting to be hit by a speeding cab who mounts the sidewalk and severs your foot.

  • Kevin

    As someone who is recently hit by a hit-and-run driver while riding my bicycle without a helmet I can definitely attest to the fact that I am one of the very few lucky people that did not die from my accident and was extremely fortunate to have only suffered a minor back fracture and some light road rash along with a slight bump on my head as I hit into a parked car on the side of the road. I definitely will be wearing a helmet in the future and will never make that mistake again and I’ve also gotten side view mirror is for my bike because you need to definitely be cognizant of who’s coming up behind you as well as what’s going on in front of you. unfortunately the driver took off nobody got the plate only a description of it being a white SUV and I’m sure the police didn’t have too much to go on and needless to say two months later I haven’t heard anything back from them on the possibility of catching this person as a lifelong bike rider in New York City I can say I’ve definitely seen my share of accidents but by far pedestrians especially nowadays in New York not from New York tend to act like they are strolling on a country road and just walk out wherever they feel like they want to especially while listening to music not paying attention whatsoever to their surroundings and are definitely the biggest hazard for car drivers as well as bike riders.

  • Graeme

    Joe, I get the feeling that nothing will be enough to convince you of helmets being useful. I understand that focusing on helmets is more or less a distraction from the real issues, but lets get serious – looking specifically at a head hitting something, a helmet is better than no helmet in almost every situation.

    Obviously if you get hit head-on by a car at 60mph you will have little chance of surviving whether or not you wear a helmet, but most collisions in urban environments take place at lower speeds, most are not head-on, and mostly involve cyclists getting knocked off their bikes or into a car turning into their path, which usually won’t kill you anyway, but might, and will certainly injure you to a varying degree. It’s not simply dead or alive, there are many shades of grey when it comes to head injuries, and none of them are worth shrugging off.

    I have seen with my own eyes and spoken to many people first-hand who have walked away from collisions where their helmet has shattered rather than their skulls. Try and tell them that a helmet was useless.

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  • Joe R.

    It’s not a question of here of will helmets prevent some injuries. Sure, there are some very limited circumstances where they will. And there are some very limited circumstances where helmets will prevent serious injuries while walking or doing other activities. You’re missing my main point, which is actually borne out by statistics, that head injury while cycling is no more likely than head injury while doing many other common activities. We don’t wear helmets while walking because it’s highly unlikely you’ll hit your head on something. We would probably prevent more serious injuries advocating for using helmets while riding in automobiles than while riding bicycles.

    I don’t care if someone wears or doesn’t wear a helmet while cycling. That’s their business. I do care though when people act like a helmet is an essential piece of cycling gear. Doing so gives the impression cycling is dangerous. Even worse, due to the many drawbacks of helmets, starting with the discomfort and partially blocked vision/hearing, encouraging their use tends to discourage cycling in general. This was the case when Australia passed a mandatory helmet law. More people will probably die for the effects of being sedentary because the law made them decide to give up cycling than would have been saved by helmets.

    The best way to be safe while cycling is to avoid collisions in the first place. Good infrastructure combined with defensive cycling techniques can make falls very, very rare. Last time I fell off my bike for any reason was in 1996. Last time I hit my head in a fall was never, as in it never happened in 37 years of riding.

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