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Car Accident Causes in New York City

No one wakes up and wants to get into a car accident, yet thousands occur in New York City every day. We already know that human error is the by far the majority cause of auto accidents, but thanks to NYC Open Data, we can look deeper into the causes of New York City car crashes. The following statistics represent car crashes from the beginning of 2019 to March 14, 2020. More than 250,000 auto accidents occurred from January 2019 to March 14, 2020.

New York City Car Crash Statistics

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving was the number one cause of auto accidents, factoring into 26% of all car crashes. Therefore, distracted driving contributed to 63,591 auto accidents within the given timeframe.


This comes as no surprise, as many sources cite distracted driving as the number one cause of auto accidents nationwide.


At number two, tailgating is the second highest cause of New York City auto accidents. Following too closely contributed to 21,732 car accidents within the given timeframe. This total represents 9% of all car crashes, a 17% drop off compared to distracted driving.

Other Top Causes

  • Failure to yield right-of-way: contributed to 17,118 motor vehicle accidents, 7% of all crashes.

  • Backing unsafely: contributed to 10,839 motor vehicle collisions, 4% of all crashes.

  • Using lanes incorrectly when passing: contributed to 19,438 motor vehicle collisions, 4% of all crashes.


It’s also important to note that 23% (56,954) of all motor vehicle crashes within the timeframe had unspecified causes. Therefore, these top cause numbers are likely higher than stated!

Injured in an Auto Accident?

Regardless of how people are injured in auto accidents, The Odierno Law Firm is here to help them recover the monetary damages they deserve. Therefore, if you or a loved one is injured in a New York car accident, reach out to our firm for a free consultation.

Call (631) 250-4212 to talk to a trusted personal injury attorney about your injuries.