The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles publishes motor vehicle accident statistics that provide detail about car accidents and other crashes that occur in New York City. The most recent year available, 2012, provides data about the days and times when crashes are most likely to occur.
The largest number of motor vehicle crashes in the city occurred between 3 and 6 PM. In 2012, there were 11,040 crashes that happened during that time period. The busiest day for car and other motor vehicle accidents is Friday.
Other information provided by the state includes:
Most crashes (43,908) involve two vehicles, with the second greatest number being one-vehicle crashes.
The most common causes of vehicle accident in New York City are driver inattention, followed by and following too closely and failure to yield
Fatal crashes were more likely to involve alcohol or an inexperienced driver. Speeding and what was termed “pedestrian error” were also involved more in fatal crashes than in injury or property damage crashes.
Named vehicle defects included defective brakes, the most common cause of accidents. Tire failure and steering failure were also frequently cited causes.
Environmental factors in NYC crashes included slippery surfaces, obstructed view and glare.
More fatal accidents were caused by male drivers between the ages of 25 and 29 years old than any other age group. Males caused around two-thirds of fatal accidents. Similarly, the greatest number of victims of fatal accidents were aged 25 to 29 as well.
In the 33 fatal motorcycle accidents in 2012, nearly a third of the victims were not wearing helmets. The proportion of non-helmet wearers is significantly less in non-fatal accidents – around 20 percent – showing that helmet use does save lives.
Fortunately, the vast majority of motor vehicle crashes around 57 percent – caused only minor injuries.