New York City is famous for many things. On the plus side, it is home to Broadway and the Empire State Building. Negatively, though, many people consider it one of the most dangerous places in the United States to drive. Is that an accurate assessment? And if it isn’t, what New York cities are the most dangerous places to drive?

New York City Does Not Deserve Its Reputation

If you listen to the rumors, people are getting into fatal car accidents nearly every second of the day in New York City. But New York car accident statistics don’t support that belief. According to MSN, New York is one of the safest cities for driving in the country. For example, of the top five cities in the U.S., New York boasts the lowest rate of fatal car accidents.

Where does this inaccurate depiction come from? There is no way to be certain, but it is probably a combination of the fact that New York has the highest population of any city in the country and a dense grid of city streets with hundreds of intersections. When an accident occurs, it can clog traffic for hours, which is the kind of thing that is very memorable.

New York Cities That Have the Most Fatal Car Accidents

When looking at car accidents in New York State, you need to consider two factors. The first is how serious the accidents were. Fatal accidents represent one of the best metrics. The second factor to consider is the number of accidents compared to the population of the area. 

The website Stacker looked at these factors and determined that the following New York cities had the highest fatal accident rates.

Seneca Falls

The fatal accident rate in Seneca Falls was roughly 17.7 per 100,000 people in 2020. That represents six deaths, which may not seem very high. But compared to the rate in New York City (1.7 per 100,000 people), it is frighteningly high.

Oswego and Fulton

These twin cities on the western edge of New York overlook Lake Ontario. There were collectively 18 motor vehicle deaths in 2020, five of which involved pedestrians. Five of those deaths also involved drunk driving.

Herkimer and Little Falls

These side-by-side cities are located squarely in the center of New York. While it would appear that the biggest cause of accidents is traffic on Route 90 between Utica and Albany, no road resulted in more than half the deaths. At 14.9 fatalities per 100,000 people, these cities still ranked near the top of the chart.


Unlike in the above cities, the cause of fatal accidents in Watertown is no mystery. Almost half the fatal accidents occurred on US-11, which runs directly through the center of the city. 

Furthermore, the same number of accidents involved drunk driving. With a high incidence of drinking and driving and dangerous road conditions on US-11, drivers should be wary of driving through the town at night.

Niagara Falls, NY

Tourists should be careful when visiting this tourist town. Pedestrians account for almost one-third of the car accident fatalities in this city. This danger presented by this city is probably increased by tourists who aren’t entirely familiar with U.S. driving laws.

Drive Carefully in Upstate New York

Despite New York City’s reputation, it isn’t the most dangerous place in the state to drive a car. You should be most wary when driving in the upstate areas of New York, where car accidents are more likely.

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Manhattan, NY, and need legal help, contact our New York City personal injury lawyers at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. to schedule a free consultation.

Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C.
100 Wall St 15th Floor
New York, NY 10005
(212) 514-5007