Apr 22, 2022 - Health

NYC traffic deaths up 44% since 2021

New York Police and Fire Department investigate the site of a car collision in Manhattan on March 5, 2021. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

New York City saw a 44% increase in traffic-related deaths in the first three months of 2022, new data released this week shows.

Driving the news: At least 59 people have been killed by vehicular collisions in the first three months of the year, according to a report published Tuesday by Transportation Alternatives. At the same time last year, only 41 fatalities were reported.

  • The report also found that more children were killed in traffic crashes in the first three months of 2022 than in the first quarter of any year since the start of Vision Zero, a NYC initiative to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from traffic incidents.

The big picture: NYC's jump in traffic fatalities mirrors a troubling nationwide trend.

  • Approximately 31,720 people were killed in car crashes in the first nine months of 2021 — up 12% compared to 2020 — according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • The jump represents the highest percentage increase since the Fatality Analysis Reporting System began collecting data in 1975.
  • "This is a crisis," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement in October. "We cannot and should not accept these fatalities as simply a part of everyday life in America.”

Go Deeper: Traffic fatalities spiked nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • At least 38,680 were killed in roadside collisions in 2020, about a 7% increase from the previous year.
  • The majority of American motorists limited their time behind the wheel during pandemic shutdowns, however, a small portion drove more, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
  • The AAA study found this group was younger, disproportionately male, and statistically at a higher risk for collision compared to the average driver, the AAA study found.
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