Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Bike/Ped

Motor Vehicles Leading Cause of NYC Child Injury Deaths

crossing_street.jpg

According to a new study out from the city's Department of Health, children in New York are seven times less likely than children nationwide to die as car passengers. That's the good news, likely the result of the fact that our kids spend a lot less time in cars than most American children.

The bad news is that motor vehicles are still the leading cause of accidental child deaths in New York City; 85 percent of motor-vehicle-related deaths involved children who were pedestrians.

Here are some interesting highlights from the study, which covers the years 2001 through 2005:

    • Driver error alone was cited most frequently (39%) as the main contributing factor; pedestrian error alone was cited 29% of the time; and in 17% of cases both driver and pedestrian error contributed. (DOT had no police report information to determine contributing factor for 9% of cases and contributing factor was unknown in 7% of cases.)
    • African American children represented 49% of all motor vehicle deaths even though they are only 29% of the City's child population aged one to 12.
    • Boys accounted for nearly twice as many motor vehicle deaths as girls (64% vs. 34%).
    • Among the five boroughs, child death rates were highest in Brooklyn and Queens and lowest in Manhattan.
    • Children playing in the street, or darting out from between parked cars were common factors in child pedestrian deaths.
    • More than a third of child-pedestrian deaths involved light trucks, half of which were SUVs.
    • Half of child-pedestrian deaths occurred within 700 feet of a school, nearly all during the evenings, weekends, and summer.

The report suggests that parents educate their children about safe places to play, but it also suggests some infrastructure and legislative measures:

    • Expanding the transportation infrastructure to include more crosswalks and speed bumps, and working to ensure that all kids live within a 10-minute walk of a park or playground.
    • Creating a traffic safety website and launching a citywide awareness campaign.
    • Supporting state legislation to mandate cross-over mirrors for large commercial trucks.

You can download the full report here (PDF).

Photo: Vidiot via Flickr 

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Delivery Worker Minimum Wage Shows Promise … For Some, Data Shows

New data from New York City's Department of Consumer and Worker Protection shows minimum wage is bringing order to a previously wild industry.

July 15, 2024

Monday’s Headlines Go Through Basic Training

An NYU study looks into why the U.S. is lagging behind on high-speed rail, and one transportation expert ponders the impact on growth.

July 15, 2024

Sustainable Transportation Advocates Need to Talk About Sustainable Urban Design

A new book hopes to act as a "magic decoder ring" to our built environment — and a powerful tool to understand how sustainable transportation networks can fit within them.

July 15, 2024

Long Beach Leads in Traffic Circles

Traffic circles aren't quite ubiquitous in Long Beach, but they're around. Riding and walking through the city one encounters circles in neighborhoods rich and poor, new and old.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines Take Me to the River

Politico reports that the Biden administration is investing $2.5 billion in updating aging Mississippi River locks and dams like this one in Iowa. Transporting freight by barge produces less emissions than trucks or even rail.

July 12, 2024
See all posts