Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the New York City Department of Transportation does not agree with the study’s findings.
NEW YORK (PIX11) – New York City is the deadliest city for pedestrians in the United States, according to a new study from insurance broker Jerry.
New York City ranked the highest among U.S. cities with 1,260 pedestrian deaths between 2011 and 2020, followed by Los Angeles (1,133 deaths), Phoenix (717 deaths), Houston (647 deaths) and Dallas (501 deaths). For the study, Jerry analyzed fatal crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine trends across the country.
A spokesperson for the New York City Department of Transportation on Thursday took issue with the study, telling PIX11 that the city is one of the safest cities for pedestrians per capita.
“The best way to gauge the safety of a city is not in terms of total numbers, which will always be biased against the largest cities, but in rate per 100,000 people. We are proud to say that data shows New York City is actually one of the safest cities in America to be a pedestrian,” DOT spokesperson Vincent Barone said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the number of pedestrians killed each year across the U.S. has reached a four-decade high. Pedestrian deaths are rising at twice the rate as overall traffic fatalities, according to Jerry.
“There are likely many factors behind the dramatic rise in pedestrian deaths,” said Henry Hoenig, a data journalist with Jerry. “We have seen a surge in aggressive driving and overall traffic fatalities since the outbreak of COVID-19, which can be at least partly blamed on mental stress resulting from the challenges of navigating the pandemic.”
Additionally, four out of every five pedestrian deaths occur in an urban area, the study found.
“Ultimately, most of America’s roads are profoundly unfriendly to pedestrians, making the factors above that much deadlier,” Hoenig said. “There are far too few sidewalks and pedestrian crossings and too many high-speed, high-traffic-volume roads cutting through densely populated urban areas.”