New York is one of the most populated states in the nation. As such, it stands to reason that our state would see one of the highest rates of accidents. Cities across New York, especially the Big Apple itself, have taken action to lower the number of accidents per year. And with the gradual rise of self-driving cars, that number could fall further in the near future. But until fully autonomous vehicles and other innovations are a reality, we have to trust other people to drive safely — and that’s not always easy to do.
As you have likely noticed, there are some parts of the state that are safer for drivers than others. In fact, there are some boroughs in the city that are safer than others. We at TicketHelp wanted to recognize those counties and boroughs that have recorded the fewest accidents per year. To do so, we analyzed annual traffic data to determine how many accidents per capita each county had. We used more general numbers in our lists, but the full data can be found here.
Without further ado, here are safest places to drive in New York State:
Safest Boroughs in NYC
The boroughs of New York City have a lower per-capita car accident rate because so few people drive. In fact, over half of all households in the city don’t own a car at all, but rather use public transit and other transportation methods. However, those who do drive run the risk of being in an accident on the city’s streets.
FUN FACT: Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, has a fictional home in Forest Hills, Queens. However, his address coincides with a real address, and the family that lives in the actual house is the Parkers!
4. Staten Island (Richmond)
FUN FACT: The Staten Island Ferry has been operational since 1905, and carries more than 21 million people per year!
3. The Bronx
FUN FACT: The Bronx is not only home to the MLB’s winningest team, the Yankees, but is also home to the city’s largest park, Pelham Bay — 3 times bigger than Central Park!
FUN FACT: Brooklyn is one of the “youngest” areas in the nation. The median age of Brooklyn residents is 34.7, compared to the national median of 36.8!
Manhattan is perhaps the most widely-known boroughs in New York City, thanks to Central Park, Wall Street and Broadway, and is home to about 1.5 million residents. However, they only have about 11,500 car accidents a year, which is barely 0.001 accidents per capita.
FUN FACT: Manhattan is one of the most densely populated areas in the nation. In fact, if the world were as densely populated as Manhattan, everyone could fit in New Zealand!
Counties with More Than 100,000 People
While New York City is certainly the most populated area of the state, there are many other counties with a high population as well. These areas generally do have public transportation available, though it is not as extensive as in the Big City. Due to more limited options, more residents choose to drive. Therefore, there are naturally higher rates of car accidents. The top 10 safest counties over 100,000 people are:
10. Dutchess County
Dutchess County is home to about 297,000 people. They have about 5,700 accidents per year, which about 0.0193 per capita.
FUN FACT: The Bardavon 1869 Opera House, located in the Dutchess County seat of Poughkeepsie, is the oldest continuously-operating theatre in the state!
9. Monroe County
FUN FACT: Rochester, the seat of Monroe County, is the third-most populated in the state and is where many world-famous companies like Xerox, Kodak and Bausch & Lomb were founded!
8. Erie County
About 920,000 people live in Erie County. On average, they have about 17,500 accidents a year. That’s about 0.01907 accidents per capita.
FUN FACT: Buffalo, the seat of Erie County, hosts the largest Dyngus Day celebration in the United States, a Polish festival celebrating the end of Lent!
7. Rensselaer County
FUN FACT: Rensselaer County is home to the Crailo Museum, which was a house once owned by Dutch settler Richard Shuckburgh; it was in this house that he wrote the song “Yankee Doodle!”
6. Oneida County
Oneida County is home to about 234,000 residents. In total, there are about 4,300 accidents per year, which is about 0.0185 accidents per capita.
FUN FACT: Woolworth’s, perhaps America’s most iconic five-and-dime store, was founded in Utica, the seat of Oneida County, in 1879!
5. St. Lawrence County
FUN FACT: Located on its namesake river, St. Lawrence County is the largest by area in the state of New York, covering 2,821 square miles of land and water!
4. Niagara County
About 214,000 people live in Niagara County. Yearly, they experience about 3,800 accidents per year, or 0.017 accidents per capita.
FUN FACT: Though Niagara Falls, for which the county was named, is not the tallest waterfall in the world, it is considered the fastest-moving, with 28 million liters of water falling over the cliff every second!
3. Jefferson County
FUN FACT: County fairs are a staple of autumn in the United States, and Jefferson County is home to the longest continuously-operating fair in the nation, celebrating its 200th year in 2016!
2. Oswego County
About 121,000 people live in Oswego County. With about 2,000 car wrecks a year, they have an average of 0.0163 accidents per capita.
FUN FACT: The county is home to State University of New York at Oswego, which is where media greats Al Roker, Jerry Seinfeld and Kendis Gibson received their education!
1. Westchester County
Westchester County has one of the largest populations on this list, with nearly 970,000 people. Yet, they only have about 15,000 accidents a year, or 0.0155 accidents per capita.
FUN FACT: Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County, home to Washington Irving and his famous “Headless Horseman,” is considered one of the most haunted places in the world!
Counties with Less Than 100,000 People
Outside of New York City and other metro areas, there is a much higher demand for residents to have their own cars, as public transportation is limited and, in some areas, non-existent. As such, there is naturally a higher rate of car accidents per capita in these areas. However, these 10 counties stand out among the rest as the safest counties under 100,000 people for driving.
10. Madison County
FUN FACT: The world’s smallest church, Cross Island Chapel, is located on an island in a pond in Madison County. There are just 30 square feet on the inside, and it is only accessible by boat!
9. Orleans County
There are about 42,000 people living in Orleans County, and they have about 705 car wrecks a year. That’s about 0.0167 accidents per capita.
FUN FACT: Orleans County is home to the historic Clarendon Stone Store, one of the first buildings in the world built with Medina sandstone!
8. Herkimer County
FUN FACT: Francis Bellamy, who authored the original Pledge of Allegiance in 1892, lived much of his life in Little Falls, Herkimer County, and belonged to the Freemasons Lodge there!
7. Chemung County
About 88,500 people live in Chemung County. They have about 1,470 accidents per year, or 0.01656 accidents per capita.
FUN FACT: Chemung County is often referred to as “Mark Twain Country,” as the author spent much of his life living and writing in Elmira, the county seat!
6. Wayne County
FUN FACT: Wayne County has had a major impact on world history. Two major religious movements, Spiritualism and Latter-Day Saints, were founded here!
5. Washington County
Just over 63,000 people live in Washington County, and they experience about 1,000 car wrecks a year. That’s about 0.016 accidents per capita.
FUN FACT: Before she became a leader in the women’s suffrage movement, Susan B. Anthony taught at a schoolhouse in Fort Edward, the seat of Washington County!
4. Fulton County
FUN FACT: Fulton County was once known as the Leather and Glove capital of the world. Though few tanners and glovers still live in the area, many residents can trace their ancestry back to those industries!
3. Lewis County
Home to just over 27,000 people, Lewis County has about 425 car wrecks a year. That’s about 0.0158 accidents per capita.
FUN FACT: In 2013, Philadelphia Cream Cheese (headquartered in Lowville) created the world’s biggest cheesecake. It was over 7.5 feet in diameter, about 2.5 feet tall and weighed 6,900 pounds!
2. Tioga County
A little more than 50,000 people live in Tioga County. Their roads see about 790 collisions per year, or about 0.01574 accidents per capita.
FUN FACT: In 2009, the county seat of Owego was named the Coolest Small Town in America by Budget Travel Magazine, thanks to its culture and easy-going atmosphere!
1. Allegany County
With about 48,000 residents and about 760 car crashes per year, Allegany County barely edged out Tioga County for first place with 0.01573 accidents per capita.
FUN FACT: Allegany County is home to the Seneca Oil Spring and Oil Spring Reservation, where the Seneca and other indigenous peoples learned how to use the petroleum-tainted springwater for medicinal purposes!