Traffic Fatalities in New York City

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According to a newly released report about pedestrian safety, “2009 was the safest year on record in New York City history.” In fact, says the NYC Department of Transportation, New York is safer than Copenhagen, Seattle, and San Francisco.

Good to hear! I don’t know for sure if fatalities per 100,000 population is the right measure to use (fatalities per 100,000 vehicle miles driven is one alternative), and I also don’t know if the decline in fatalities is due to better driving, aggressive DOT safety programs, or better emergency room care. But it’s good news any way you look at it.

In any case, I went browsing through the report to see if I could find any interesting notes, and in the interest of stereotype bashing here’s a couple of charts showing who’s responsible for whatever mayhem remains on New York streets. Answer: men. The chart on the left shows who’s behind the wheel when pedestrians are killed or seriously injured (KSI), and it’s overwhelmingly men. Mostly young and middle aged men. There’s a slight bit of karmic justice here, though, because the chart on the right shows who the victims are. Again, mostly men. So men drive like aggressive idiots, killing and injuring hundreds every year, and they also walk like aggressive idiots, thus getting killed by the hundreds every year.

The full report is here. It’s got plenty of other little tidbits if you’re interested in who, what, when, where, and why pedestrians are likely to get killed or injured in New York City. Have fun with it, and be careful out there.

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