New York City has some of the worst traffic in the country. Drivers here can expect to lose more than 100 hours per year due to congestion, at a cost of around $1,500 to $2,000 a year per commuter. Sitting in gridlocked traffic trying to reach your destination can be enough to make you want to get and walk—until you consider the high number of New York pedestrians struck by cars every year.

Whether driving or walking, New York’s streets can feel overcrowded and unsafe. But have you ever wondered about which roads in the state are the most dangerous? Thanks to personal finance website MoneyGeek, we now have a better idea of where deadly New York car accidents are the most prevalent.

Beware When Driving These Roads

MoneyGeek analyzed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fatal accident data from 2017 to 2019 and found that, over this period, the following stretches of road were the deadliest in New York:

  • 3rd Avenue from 7th Street to 52nd Street in Brooklyn (8 fatal crashes over the 3-year period)
  • Atlantic Avenue from Rochester Avenue to 85th Street in Brooklyn and Queens (7 fatal crashes)
  • CR-93 from Richmond Boulevard to 13th Street in Islip (7 fatal crashes)
  • Lake Avenue from Denise Road to Phelps Avenue in Rochester (6 fatal crashes)
  • SR-27 from Albany Avenue to Harvard Road in Babylon, Long Island (6 fatal crashes)
  • Bruckner Boulevard from Balcom Avenue to Jackson Avenue in The Bronx (6 fatal crashes)
  • Woodhaven Boulevard from 91st Avenue to Dry Harbor Road in Queens (6 fatal crashes)
  • Northern Boulevard from 70th Street to Main Street in Queens (5 fatal crashes)
  • Flatbush Avenue from Avenue V to Midwood Street in Brooklyn (5 fatal crashes)
  • South Conduit Avenue from Sutter Avenue to Rockaway Boulevard in Queens (5 fatal crashes)

MoneyGeek also looked at countywide fatal accident data for New York and determined the deadliest roads in each county were:

  • Suffolk County: SR-25
  • Nassau County: SR-27
  • Queens County: Woodhaven Boulevard
  • Kings County: 3rd Avenue
  • New York County: SR-907L/FDR Drive
  • Bronx County: I-87
  • Richmond County: Hylan Boulevard
  • Westchester County: SR-987G/Taconic State Parkway

Overall, Suffolk County had the most roadway deaths in New York over the 3-year period (373), followed by Nassau County (220), Queens County (196), and Kings County (186). New York County had 103 traffic deaths, while Bronx County had 104 and Westchester County had 87.

Causes of Fatal NY Car Accidents

MoneyGeek went beyond the raw numbers to find the cause of fatal New York car crashes. Not surprisingly, it discovered that drunk driving, distracted driving, and speeding caused the most deadly accidents.

  • Speeding was the top contributing factor to fatal accidents in New York from 2017- 2019. Of the 2,725 deadly crashes during this period, 28%, or 756, were related to speeding.
  • Drunk driving was the second leading contributor to New York fatal accidents from 2017- 2019, with 549 deadly crashes (20% of the total) linked to alcohol intoxication. A recent NHTSA study found that 54% of roadway users seriously injured or killed in traffic accidents had alcohol or drugs in their systems, including 20 percent of drivers who tested positive for two or more drugs.
  • Distracted driving was the third leading contributor to fatal accidents in New York State over the 3-year period, blamed for 360 deadly crashes, or 13% of the total.

Notably, in New York City, distracted driving was associated with more road deaths than drunk driving or speeding, MoneyGeek found.

Distractions can take many forms, but the most common form of distracted driving involves smartphone messaging. According to NHTSA, when a driver sends or reads a text, they take their eyes off the road for 5 seconds. Looking away for just two seconds doubles the risk of a crash or near crash, NHTSA data shows.

New York City’s congested roads demand a driver’s full attention. The number of distracted drivers on our roadways could help to explain why the City has seen a surge in traffic deaths in recent years. Insurance broker Jerry says that New York had the most pedestrian deaths nationwide from 2011 – 2020. However, a New York City Department of Transportation spokesperson told PIX11 that, on a per capita basis, New York City is one of the safest cities in the country for pedestrians.

The NYC DOT reported in January that NYC traffic fatalities dropped in 2022 for the first time in three years. Total traffic deaths fell by 6.6% since 2019, pedestrian deaths were down 6.3%, and cyclist deaths decreased almost 40% from a 20-year high in 2019.

Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer at The Sanders Law Firm

The Sanders Law Firm has been helping injured New Yorkers since 1967. If you suffered serious car accident injuries, your No-Fault coverage may be inadequate. And if a negligent motorist hurt you, it might be possible to file a lawsuit.

We’ve recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our injury clients and earned a reputation as one of the largest, most aggressive, and most successful personal injury firms in New York. To talk to a lawyer, free of charge, call (516) 591-3208 or contact us.