New York is one of the most populous cities in the world, and it seems to suffer more than its fair share of traffic accidents. Sometimes, when you're surrounded by literally millions of people, it can be easy to forget that each and every accident victim is a real human being with a compelling personal story.
It can be hard to translate tragedy into understandable statistics, but the folks at Streetsblog New York have made some progress by presenting NYPD accident statistics on a monthly, rather than a yearly basis. They recently presented the numbers from May, and the fact the numbers are so recent and concrete makes them a lot more accessible to the imagination.
- Total number of motor vehicle accidents: 19,119
- Number of motor vehicle accidents involving injuries or death: 3,551
- Motorists killed: 6
- Passengers killed: 4
- Bicyclists killed: 1
- Pedestrians killed: 17
Yes, those numbers reflect traffic crashes occurring over a single month in New York City alone. In fact, they may not even include every accident, since the NYPD doesn't investigate every crash -- even if there were injuries. Furthermore, Streetsblog says the numbers are incomplete virtually every month, with details about pedestrian and bicyclist deaths dribbling in slowly.
Streetsblog goes on to give a name for every fatality, which truly drives home the tragedy of it all. We recommend checking out their entire post, but here's a short summary of who lost their lives in our city in May:
- Manhattan: 1 cyclist and 5 pedestrians
- The Bronx: 3 pedestrians
- Brooklyn: 6 pedestrians
- Queens: 3 pedestrians
Two of the victims were children, ages 8 and 12. Six victims were senior citizens -- one reached 96 years of age before being killed in a traffic accident. Five of the pedestrians killed in May have yet to be identified. In 12 accidents, "loss of consciousness" by the driver was cited as a factor.
We live in a chaotic world, where our children and our elders can be taken from us in an instant. As a secondary tragedy, families often face substantial financial hardships after a serious crash. Sometimes, the only solace is that we don't have to face it alone.