Car crash statistics


Car crashes are a common occurrence that most drivers avoid. However, they can have devastating consequences for all involved. Car accidents can be a minor inconvenience or life-threatening. It could lead to thousands of dollars in medical bills, repairs or even a fatal outcome.

Experts recommend that all drivers practice defensive driving. To ensure your safety and that of others, it is essential to practice defensive driving. Unfortunately, even though a competent driver may seem like a great choice, sometimes a car accident is inevitable.

Statistics on car crashes:

  • According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately three millions Americans are hurt each year in car accidents.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which reports the last year’s data, indicates that there were 36.096 fatalities in 2019.
  • According to the CDC, almost 3700 people are killed each day in auto-related accidents.
  • 53% car fatal crashes in 2019 were caused by single-vehicle incidents according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  • The NHTSA estimates that 5-6 million car crashes occur in the United States each year.
  • The Insurance Information Institute (III), which collected the last year data, found 7,680 pedestrians were involved fatally in crashes in 2019.
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How many people die in car accidents?

In 2019, there were 36.096 deaths from car accidents, according to the latest IIHS reporting. This figure reflects a decrease of 2% despite an increase in vehicle miles by 0.8%. This trend has been observed across the country for three years. It is a good sign.

Why do people die in car accidents?

According to the NHTSA, these are the top causes of fatal auto accidents:

  • Drunk driving: Every year, 10142 people are killed in the United States from drunk-driving accidents.
  • Distracted driving: In 2019, there was 3.142 auto-related deaths that involved a distracted driver.
  • Speeding: According to records, 9,378 people died in speeding accidents between 2018 and 2018.
  • Drowsy driving: In 2017, 795 fatal car accidents were caused by a drowsy driver.
  • Seat belts: It is reported that 2,549 people were killed in an automobile accident in 2017 because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt.

Driver behavior

Drivers are responsible for adhering to traffic laws when they get behind the wheel. Some drivers may not follow this approach and end up in a car accident. The behavior and choices of a driver play a significant role in how they are able to drive safely. The chances of an accident occur when a driver is drunk, under the influence or text-and-drive.

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Even the most skilled driver can become distracted or impaired and lose control of the vehicle. Driver carelessness can have a far-reaching impact on the lives of others. Data shows that driver behavior and choices can have a significant effect on fatal car accidents. This includes the decision to drive fast, without seat belts, or when you are sleep-deprived.

2021: Car accident statistics

The annual NHTSA car crash report was compiled by government officials and focuses on motor vehicle deaths. Although the official 2020 statistics have not been released by NHTSA, there are early estimates. According to the National Safety Council, there were 42.060 car accidents that resulted in death in 2020. Additionally, an estimated 2,830 trillion vehicle miles traveled. Motor-vehicle accidents cost approximately $474.4 billion in deaths, injuries, and property damage. These data reflect an 8% increase in auto-related deaths and a 13% decrease in mileage.

COVID-19, as one might expect, seems to have had an impact on trends for 2020. Data show that some subgroups have had an increase in influence, while others have decreased. From March 2020 to June 2020, for example, fatal crashes involving people over 64 experienced a marked decrease. This could be due to COVID-19, the stay-at home order, and older people staying at home. In contrast, the number of fatal crashes among younger people between 16 and 44 increased from March 2020 to June 2020. The largest increase in fatal crashes for younger people aged 16-44 years is seen in June, which was 20% more than the previous year. This age group was more likely to travel as most states reopened partially in June.

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Statistics on car crashes over time

The total number of fatal car accidents has not changed significantly since 1994 according to statistics. There were 36.254 crashes in 1994, as opposed to 33.654 in 2018. The year 2011 has the record for the fewest number of crashes, with 29,867. The driving factors that cause crashes are where we see the most significant change.

Factors like being distracted or disobeying traffic signals have changed over time, but overall the number of drivers has steadily declined from 54,549 in 1994 to 51,490 by 2018. The data below shows that speed-related crashes are responsible for more deaths in recent years. While total car accident fatalities have increased over the past five years, impaired drivers have seen a noticeable decline, while other factors such as alcohol consumption and other factors increased their representation.

YearTotal car crash fatalitiesFatalities due to alcohol-impaired drivingFatalities due to speedFatalities of pedalcyclists and pedestrians

*4,607 This estimate is based on FARS data , and the reported decline in alcohol impaired driving fatalities

State-by-state statistics on car crashes

Statistical data on car crashes by state

Due to the state population, geographic trends in car accidents vary greatly. More drivers and more accidents are common in states with large populations and densely populated roads. Alaska had 737,000 residents in 2018, and 80 of those were killed in car accidents. Alabama had 4,888,000 people and 953. The highest number of fatal accidents in Alaska in over 20 years was 101. In 2004, Alabama saw a spike with 1,154 deaths.

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There are many factors that can affect fatal crash rates. The 2019 Crash Investigation Sampling System found that alcohol impairment was responsible for 34% and 26% respectively in Alaska and Alabama. These numbers are also affected by the type of vehicle used. Alaska was home to the highest death rate (48%) in 2019, compared with 24% for car occupants.

Both of these states saw a drop in traffic fatalities in 2019. Alaska had 67 fatalities in 2019, compared to Alabama’s 930. This trend has been consistent over the years. While the numbers may fluctuate, it is clear that each state’s geographical trend has remained consistent over the years. Each state has its own unique trend in terms of deaths per 100 million miles driven.

For example, Alaska’s 1994-2018 difference is -34% while Alabama’s difference is -29%. These numbers have steadily decreased over time, and the figures can vary by state. Alaska and Alabama have relatively low numbers, while Wyoming has 25.4 deaths. For 2019, the US saw 1.11 deaths per 100,000,000 miles and 11.0 deaths for every 100,000 people.

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Data shows fatalities in 2019

StateAnnual car accident fatalities per 100,000,000 miles traveled
District of Columbia0.61
New Hampshire0.73
New Jersey0.71
New Mexico1.53
New York0.75
North Carolina1.12
North Dakota1.02
Rhode Island0.75
South Carolina1.73
South Dakota1.03
West Virginia1.36

Risk factors

The CDC states that car accidents are a leading cause of death for Americans aged 1 to 54 (most recent reports determining demographic data for drivers and other factors are from 2018).

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Statistics on male and female crashes

Overall, 25841 males were killed in fatal car crashes, compared with 10,676 females. According to research, male drivers aged 16-19 are nearly twice as likely to be in a fatal crash than their female counterparts.

Statistics on crashes by age

The 25-34 age group has the highest car crash fatality rate with 6,733 deaths in 2018. Younger drivers account for 6.0% of fatal accidents, despite making up 3.9% of licensed drivers. Elder driver trends show the reverse — drivers aged 75-plus make up 7.5%, but only 6.5% in fatal crashes.

Road and vehicle conditions

According to the IIHS, 45% of car accident deaths occurred in rural areas. 53% of fatalities were caused by single-vehicle accidents. With 22,215 occupant deaths, passenger cars are the most dangerous type of vehicle. It was also reported in 2018 that the most fatal accidents occurred during normal weather conditions and daylight, with 14,147 deaths (NHTSA).

Safety devices can save lives

Car crashes can happen at any time. There is little you can do after a crash. There are safety measures that can be taken by law enforcement and vehicle manufacturers to reduce the risk of injury or death. A seat belt is a simple, safe and easy choice every passenger can make.

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In the past decade, more people have used seat belts regularly. Seat belt use saved 14955 lives in 2017. Failing to wear a seatbelt resulted in 47% of passenger deaths. IIHS reports that 90.7% of Americans saw the importance and opted to wear their seat belts by 2019. Hawaiians led the way with 97% use.

Airbags weren’t a standard feature on many cars until 1999. However, they are required in all vehicles to be installed at the front and sometimes even at the sides. Airbags provide a cushion between the vehicle and passengers to reduce the impact of a crash. According to NHTSA data, 50,457 people were saved by airbags between 1975 and 2017.

Motorcyclists who wear helmets have seen laws change over the years. Although it may not be required by law, helmets are highly recommended for safety. Proper helmet use has saved 45,746 lives since the 1970s (NHTSA). Although these safety measures might seem insignificant, they have been proven to be very important in saving lives.

Car crashes and their impact

Car crashes can result in injury or death but they also have an emotional effect on the people involved and an economic impact that impacts the entire world. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTS) can be a result of car crashes and may make it difficult to drive again.

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In terms of economics, hundreds of thousands are spent on service workers, lawsuits, medical expenses, damages, and other costs. The average claim for property damages was $3,841 and the average claim to bodily injury claims was $15,785. In 2018, the III indicated. Low- and middle-income countries are most affected by car accidents. Globally, it is expected that car crashes will cause an economic loss of approximately $834 trillion between 2015-2030.

What car accidents can affect your auto insurance

Car insurance protects you against financial loss in the case of an accident. Your auto insurance will provide financial protection for covered losses. Instead of you having to pay thousands of dollars in extra costs, it is not designed to make you responsible for these expenses. Your insurance company may not cover all losses.

Your auto insurance limits are usually listed as a ratio (e.g. 100/300/100). This is a number that can be used to indicate how much you have paid for your auto insurance. These limits will tell you how much your insurance company will pay you if you cause an accident that results in damages or liability. You are responsible for your deductible when you file a claim. If you do not have the required minimum liability coverage or damages that exceed your policy limits, you could be responsible for additional costs. A crash can also impact your insurance costs, except if you have accident forgiveness or have been uninsured for the required time.

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After an accident, drivers will experience an average 34% increase to their insurance premium. It will vary depending on your driving record, age, and the state you live in. These are just a few of the many factors that go into insurance ratings. An accident can place you in a higher risk category according to insurers. You may see an increase in your premium to reflect this risk.

These increases rarely last beyond a few years. Rates are determined by how long your driving record has been kept in mind by most companies. Experts recommend that you shop for and compare auto insurance policies to ensure you get the best rate.

Car accident prevention

How to avoid a car accident

These are some steps you can take to avoid limit-car accidents

  1. Use your seat belts properly on every trip, regardless of whether you’re in the front or back.
  2. Baby and toddlers should be secured in booster and car seats. For the correct height and age requirements, refer to the seat manual.
  3. Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or motorcycle.
  4. Keep your eyes on the road. Avoid distractions like texting, emailing, and using social media.
  5. When crossing the street, be alert for traffic and keep your eyes peeled.
  6. Respect traffic laws and signs
  7. Avoid driving if you are under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
  8. If you feel sleepy or drowsy, don’t drive.
  9. Advanced Safety Features like blind spot detection or lane departure warnings are available.
  10. You can use hands-free features and apps on the phone.