How New York City ranks in terms of pedestrian deaths: Part I

Sakkas Cahn & Weiss

It’s fair to say that most New Yorkers are still feeling the effects of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. But even though natural disasters are very dangerous, they are less likely to be fatal than other hazards New Yorkers face daily. Between 2003 and 2012, just over 47,000 pedestrians in the United Sates were struck and killed by motor vehicles. The number of fatalities caused by pedestrian accidents was 16 times higher than the number of deaths caused by natural disasters during the same years.

This is one of many surprising facts detailed in a report called “Dangerous By Design 2014,” which was put out by the National Complete Streets Coalition. Interestingly, New York City and the surrounding region ranked first in the nation in terms of overall pedestrian deaths, but ranked close to last in terms of a metric referred to as the Pedestrian Danger Index.

Between 2003 and 2012, there were 3,384 pedestrian deaths in New York, Long Island and Northern New Jersey. This region had the highest number of pedestrian deaths and the highest percentage of pedestrian victims among overall traffic deaths. About 32 percent of traffic fatality victims in the region were pedestrians.

It is not hard to believe that New York and the surrounding areas top the list of pedestrian fatalities. There are so many pedestrians and so many cars that these types of fatal accidents are sadly common.

Please check back later this week as we continue our discussion. We’ll talk about New York’s seemingly opposite ranking on a measure called the Pedestrian Danger Index.

Source: The Huffington Post, “New Report Ranks America’s Deadliest Cities For Pedestrians,” James Cave, May 21, 2014

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