In New York, Motor Vehicles Are the Leading Cause of Preventable Child Deaths

Press Release

One-fourth of New York City's fatal child injuries involved motor vehicles - the leading cause of child-injury deaths both locally and nationally. Although New Yorkers walk more than most Americans, the City's child pedestrian death rates are comparable to national rates. Eighty-four percent (84%) of the children killed by motor vehicles were pedestrians, and certain groups were more affected than others.

Swimming Safety Tips:

  • African American children represented 49% of all motor vehicle deaths even though they are only 29% of the City's child population aged one to12.
  • Boys accounted for nearly twice as many motor vehicle deaths as girls (64% vs. 34%).
  • Children ages 10-12 had the highest high motor vehicle death rate of all one to 12 year olds.
  • 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.
  • Nearly half of all fatal motor vehicle accidents among children occurred during the spring and summer in the evening hours.
  • Half of child-pedestrian deaths occurred within 700 feet of a school, nearly all during the evenings, weekends, and summer.

Key Pedestrian Safety Tips:

  • Parents should talk to their kids about safe places to play, and supervise them as appropriate.
  • Stop, look and listen before crossing any street.
  • Children ages 10-12 had the highest high motor vehicle death rate of all one to 12 year olds.
  • Always use the crosswalks.
  • Play in parks and schoolyards instead of near streets whenever possible.

The report recommendations for expanding the City's child safety efforts include:

  • 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.
  • Always use the crosswalks.

A complete list of recommendations to support child safety and reduce child motor vehicle deaths is available at -