Traffic Accidents Are Killing Fewer New Yorkers; Pedestrians Still Kind of Screwed


The Health Department and the Department of Transportation have released some new research to remind you to pay attention to what you’re doing whether you’re walking or driving, even if you have the light. Because you still don’t want to kill someone, or be killed. Do you? The good news: New Yorkers die less in traffic accidents than 3/4 of the rest of the nation, and the rate has decreased at twice the national rate recently.

But! You can still die in a traffic accident — especially if you’re a pedestrian crossing at an intersection, and most especially, an intersection in Brooklyn. Having a car hit us as we attempt to cross the street while we have the right of way is, in fact, one of our deepest New York City fears, and why we have perfected our angry “Looking you in the eye, driver SIR!” glare as we attempt to stride confidently across streets with scary cars turning right into us and our hearts pounding. (Good for the metabolism.)

The report, which uses data from 2005 to 2009, counts 1,467 traffic deaths during that period. Some other stats:

–Pedestrians made up 52% of that number (in the rest of America, walkers had only a 14% chance of dying in traffic, but that’s because most people don’t walk).
–People in cars accounted for 29%, and motorcyclists and bicyclists were 11% and 7%, respectively.
–The highest percentage of pedestrian fatalities were in Brooklyn, 32%.
–Your chance of dying in a traffic accident is far greater, statistically, if you’re a man in your 20s.
–66% of pedestrian fatalities occurred at intersections, and 45% of those killed at intersections by cars were in the right.

So…be careful, men walking in Brooklyn who are in their 20s and want to cross at an intersection! And, be careful, everyone.

In other news, New York City traffic may not actually, physically kill you, but it will crush your spirits and will to live. A study by NAVTEQ has found that “New York has the slowest-moving, most horrendously congested traffic in the country,” reports the Observer.

Win some, lose some.