By Jonathan Sperling
Be extra careful when driving on the Grand Central Parkway in Astoria or biking along Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights — you’re more likely to get into an accident there than most other places in the borough.
That’s according to a new interactive vehicle collision heatmap developed by software writer Todd W. Schneider.
Using data provided by the NYPD, Schneider developed a citywide heatmap that pinpoints common motor vehicle-involved collision areas based on data from 1.4 million collisions that occurred between July 2012 and January 2019.
The area around Grand Central Parkway and 31st Street in Astoria is one hotspot for collisions between motorists, as is the area around the Long Island Expressway and Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst.
The intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and 94th Street in Jackson Heights is a particularly dangerous spot cyclists. Drivers frequently crash into cyclists in the area, according to the heatmap.
The heat map also shows that Roosevelt Avenue and Main Street in Flushing is a dangerous spot for pedestrians, who have been victims of several motor vehicle collisions.
Motor vehicle collisions have steadily risen in Queens and citywide over the past five years, with more than 60,000 collisions occurring in 2018, compared to just over 50,000 in 2013, according to the data.
Schneider also notes that the likelihood of a motor vehicle collision resulting in someone dying is correlated to the time of day. Fatality rates skyrocket citywide between around midnight and 5 a.m. Collisions where alcohol is a contributing factor also tend to occur around this time, according to Schneider.
“The fatality rate is highest at 4 AM, which is last call for alcohol at NYC bars. The dataset includes contributing factors for each collision—albeit in a somewhat messy format—and sure enough the percentage of collisions involving alcohol also spikes at 4 AM,” Schneider wrote in a blog post accompanying the heatmap.