NYC subway-track deaths soar, driven by social-media dares



The Metropolitan Transportation Authority had distressing news last week: Deaths on subway-train tracks soared in 2022, to 88.

It’s a little-remarked element of our post-2020 era of disorder and chaos.


But as with everything else in New York in the past three years, things went awry. Last year’s 88 track deaths were 35% above the 2018 and 2019 averages — 65 each year.

For context, 120 pedestrians died above ground last year in crashes with cars or trucks, close to the average of 121 in 2018 and 2019.


What’s going on? Of 1,365 known subway-track incidents in 2022 (most of which didn’t end in death), about 15% were accidental falls or medical emergencies, a new MTA analysis finds.

A thankfully surprisingly low number — fewer than 10% — was suicides or suicide attempts.

An even smaller percentage was assaults — that is, people being pushed to the tracks. (Though with pushes to the tracks comprising three of last year’s 10 subway murders, a 30-year high, a small percentage is too many.)

In most cases — well more than two-thirds — people ended up on the tracks voluntarily.

In 20% of total cases, people were clearly mentally ill (but not attempting suicide); in another 10% or so, people were drugged or drunk.


The worst spike in track intrusions started a little more than a year ago, in December 2021 to February 2022. (This includes January 2022, when Michelle Go was pushed to her death in Times Square by a mentally ill, violent ex-con.)

This winter, track intrusions are down 30%.

Why? Largely police enforcement.

Author(s): Nicole Gelinas

Publication Date: 2 April 2023

Publication Site: NY Post

Gun-related deaths



Gun-related deaths from preventable, intentional, and undetermined causes totaled 39,707 in 2019, nearly flat from 39,740 deaths in 2018. Suicides account for 60% of deaths related to firearms, while 36% were homicides, and about 1% were preventable/accidental. Please note that the term gun is used on this page to refer to firearms that can be carried by a person, not to the larger class of weapon.

Since 2014, gun-related assault deaths have increased 31%, but the most recent data show that the upward trend may be over, with less than a 1% increase in 2017, a 4% decrease in 2018, and a partial rebound with a 3% increase in 2019. Suicide deaths involving guns decreased 2.0%, marking the first decrease after 12 consecutive yearly increases.

Date Accessed: 26 May 2021

Publication Site: Injury Facts

What the data says about gun deaths in the U.S.



Though they tend to get less attention than gun-related murders, suicides have long accounted for the majority of U.S. gun deaths. In 2017, six-in-ten gun-related deaths in the U.S. were suicides (23,854), while 37% were murders (14,542), according to the CDC. The remainder were unintentional (486), involved law enforcement (553) or had undetermined circumstances (338).


Publication Date: 16 August 2019

Publication Site: Pew

Mortality From Falls Among US Adults Aged 75 Years or Older, 2000-2016


Reference: JAMA. 2019;321(21):2131-2133. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.4185



In the United States, an estimated 28.7% of adults aged 65 years or older fell in 2014.1 Falls result in increased morbidity, mortality, and health care costs.1,2 Risk factors for falls include age, medication use, poor balance, and chronic conditions (ie, depression, diabetes).1 Fall prevention strategies are typically recommended for adults older than 65 years. In several European countries, an increase in mortality from falls has been observed since 2000, particularly among adults older than 75 years.3,4 This age group has the highest fall risk and potential for cost-effective interventions. We report trends in mortality from falls for the US population aged 75 years or older from 2000 to 2016.

Author(s): Klaas A. Hartholt, MD, PhD1; Robin Lee, PhD, MPH2; Elizabeth R. Burns, MPH2; et al

Publication Date: 4 June 2019

Publication Site: JAMA

Democrats Demand Bureaucrats Regulate Bureaus More Heavily


Sens. Blumenthal, Bob Casey (D–Penn.), and Amy Klobuchar (D–Minn.) introduced the STURDY Act last Thursday. The legislation would require the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to develop more rigorous standards for dressers and other free-standing “clothing storage units” to prevent them from tipping over.

Deaths from falling furniture have attracted increased attention recently. According to the CPSC, which has released a series of reports on these incidents, 571 people, including 451 children, have died in the last 20 years from accidents involving unstable TVs, furniture, and appliances.

Most of these fatalities involved either falling TVs or falling furniture. Incidents involving only a tipped-over dresser or bureau, the subject of the STURDY Act, have produced 115 deaths in two decades.


Publication Date: 1 March 2021

Publication Site: Reason

More people died on Illinois roads last year than since 2007. Is the pandemic to blame?



Nearly 160 more people died on Illinois roads last year than in 2019, making 2020 the deadliest year for Illinois drivers in 13 years, a surge officials say may have been fed by drivers speeding on roads left open by motorists who stayed home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 1,166 people died in motor vehicle crashes in Illinois in 2020, a nearly 16% increase over 2019, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. That’s a provisional number, said IDOT spokesperson Guy Tridgell, since it takes the state agency 12-18 months to finalize annual data.

Illinois traffic fatalities haven’t been that high since 2007, when 1,248 people died, according to recent and historic state data. Deaths include drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.


Publication Date: 12 February 2021

Publication Site: Chicago Tribune

2020 Will End as One of America’s Most Violent Years in Decades



This year, many Americans have experienced significantly higher levels of violence both wrought on and within their communities. Gun violence and gun crime has, in particular, risen drastically, with over 19,000 people killed in shootings and firearm-related incidents in 2020. That’s the highest death toll in over 20 years, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), an online site that collects gun violence data, and the Britannia Group’s non-partisan site

This total includes victims of homicides and unintentional deaths but does not include gun suicides. And despite there being no “large-scale” shootings in 2020, the number of mass shootings—which are classified as an incident in which four or more people are shot and injured or killed—has actually risen, drastically, to over 600, the most in the past 5 years and a nearly 50% increase in 2019’s total.

Author(s): Josiah Bates

Publication Date: 30 December 2020

Publication Site: Time