It’s inevitable for drivers to make mistakes on the road for various reasons. Car accident statistics show us that these mistakes, however unintentional, cost lives every minute of every day.
Every year the lives of roughly 1.35 million people are erased because of road traffic crashes. Between 20 and 50 million more people suffer non-fatal injuries, with many resulting in a permanent disability.
Accidents may be mistakes, but many can also be prevented. Regulations on drunk and reckless driving are key points of intervention.
Car Crash Facts (Editor’s Choice)
- The odds of losing your life in a motor vehicle accident are one in 106
- Every year, there are around 1.3 million traffic deaths worldwide
- Each minute, one hit-and-run accident occurs in the United States
- Most victims of motor vehicle crashes are between the ages of 15 and 64
- Around 6,000 pedestrians lose their lives in car crashes
- In 2020, there were over 8,600 motor vehicle fatalities in the US
- In the EU, there were 18,800 road deaths in 2020
- More than 3,000 people lose their lives in crashes involving teenage drivers
Car Accident Deaths Per Year
1. Globally, there are about 1.3 million traffic deaths every year.
With almost 3,400 deaths per day, half of those who lose their lives in road accidents are pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Almost three times more men than women die in road crashes.
2. There were 38,680 motor vehicle fatalities on American roads in 2020.
According to automobile accident stats, that equated to a 7.2% increase from 2019, when there were 36,096 fatalities. As for vehicle miles traveled, the number increased by 13.2%, or 430.2 billion miles, in 2020.
3. There were more traffic fatalities in the US in 2020 despite the pandemic.
The lockdown kept many off the roads, but this didn’t prevent drivers from speeding. Car accident statistics from the National Safety Council confirmed that over 42,000 people died in car crashes in 2020. That’s an 8% increase compared to the year before.
4. Speeding-related crashes increased by 11% in 2020 compared to 2019.
Speeding includes instances in which the driver went too fast for conditions, was racing, or exceeded the speed limit.
Speeding statistics show that in 2020, there was an increase in the average speed, with extreme speed becoming more frequent and fewer people involved in crashes wearing seatbelts.
5. There were 18,800 road deaths in the EU in 2020, as per automobile deaths per year stats.
That represented a 17% drop, or 4,000 fewer deaths, from 2019. Overall, given that the world average is 180 road deaths per one million residents, and the EU has only 42 road deaths per one million residents, it is the continent with the safest roads globally.
6. Sweden and Norway registered the lowest traffic death rate in the EU in 2020.
The countries registered 18 deaths per one million citizens each. On the flip side, Romania had the highest rate with 85 road deaths per one million residents, Latvia registered a rate of 74 per million, and Bulgaria reported 67 deaths per million inhabitants.
Road Safety Facts
7. The lifetime odds of dying in a motor vehicle accident are one in 106.
(Insurance Information Institute)
Pedestrians have the highest odds of dying in vehicle crashes with a rate of one in 541, while motorcycle riders have the lowest odds with one in 890. Car passengers have a one in 608 chance of losing their lives in a crash.
8. The odds of dying in a road accident depend on where you live.
The chances of dying in a car crash are the highest in Africa, which registers 24.1 traffic fatalities per 100,000 people. The Eastern Mediterranean region doesn’t fall far behind, with 21.3 deaths per 100,000 residents. Europe, alternatively, has the lowest rate, with 10.3 deaths per 100,000 people.
9. The primary cause of road accidents and fatalities is human error.
Careless drivers cause more accidents than medical conditions or mechanical issues each year. Distracted driving is the number one reason for motor accidents. Traffic safety facts indicate that cell phones are the most common distraction. Various other things can account for distraction-related accidents such as children, eating, or putting on makeup.
Driving under the influence is the second major problem, with many drivers causing accidents due to alcohol or drug use.
10. Most fatal vehicle accidents in the EU happen in rural areas.
Driving accident statistics show that 54% of road accident deaths in the EU happen on rural roads. Urban areas account for 38% of fatalities. By comparison, only 8% of deaths occur on motorways.
11. The European Union wants to reduce traffic deaths to zero by 2050.
The target for the next decade is to reduce traffic-related fatalities by 50%. The European Commission is making around $480 million available for safer, greener, and smarter road infrastructure.
12. Approximately 6,000 pedestrians die in car crashes.
Pedestrian safety statistics show that one pedestrian dies every 88 minutes as a result of a motor vehicle crash, while as many as 137,000 pedestrians have injuries that require medical attention. Most deaths occur in urban areas and usually at night. Nearly half of the deaths (47%) involve alcohol for the driver or the pedestrian.
13. A hit-and-run accident occurs in the US every minute.
Studies show that an estimated 682,000 hit-and-run accidents occur every year, resulting in about 2,000 deaths. Over the years, these incidents have increased by over 7%. A majority of 65% of people who die in hit-and-run incidents are pedestrians or cyclists.
Car Accident Statistics by Age
14. Most people killed in motor vehicle crashes are between 15 and 64 years old.
Death rates per 100,000 US residents have decreased by 20% among children aged 5–14 over the past ten years, while the rate among 15 to 24-year-olds fell by 16%. By contrast, the death rate among 25 to 44-year-olds has increased by 7%, and for 45 to 64-year-olds, it dropped by 11%. For the 65+ group, the rate has risen by 8%.
15. Over 3,000 people die in crashes involving teen drivers.
The most recent teen car accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that about 237 distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes are teens. Distraction is the cause of 8% of the total number of road accidents involving teen drivers, and 7% of people who die in distraction-related accidents are teens.
16. A total of 2,375 teenagers aged 13 to 19 died in car crashes in 2019.
Yearly car crash statistics show that the number of teen deaths from car crashes has decreased by 73% compared to 1975 and about 5% compared to 2018. The majority, 66%, of deaths occur in male teens.
17. There are over 45 million licensed drivers aged 65+ in the US.
Driving keeps the elderly active and independent, but it also comes with a higher risk of dying in a car accident. Approximately 7,700 older adults die in traffic crashes, and another 250,000 go to the Emergency Room for injuries. Elderly car accident statistics show that older drivers, particularly those over 75, have higher crash death rates than middle-aged drivers.
18. Florida often has the highest number of traffic fatalities in the 65+ age group.
(Probinsky & Cole)
Although most crashes occur at night, 74% of deaths in car crashes involving older adults happen during the day. In 2020, 70% of traffic accidents caused by people aged 65+ occurred on weekdays, and 67% also involved other vehicles. Only 8% of older drivers involved in fatal crashes had blood alcohol levels of 0.08 or higher.
Car Crash Statistics by Vehicle Type
19. About 4,900 people die in crashes involving large trucks each year.
While almost 5,000 die in large truck crashes each year, another 151,000 people are injured. From the total number of fatalities, 885 are truck passengers, and the remaining 3,525 deaths are passengers of another vehicle. About 39,000 truck passengers, 108,000 passengers in other vehicles, and 3,000 pedestrians were injured.
20. Around 12,700 car passengers die in traffic accidents each year.
Truck vs. car accident statistics show that passenger cars account for most deaths by vehicle type. By comparison, around 9,900 occupants of light trucks die on US roads, and another 885 passengers of large trucks are killed every year. Motorcycles are the third most deadly vehicle type, causing nearly 5,000 fatalities.
21. About 5,000 motorcyclists lose their lives in accidents.
The most recent NHTSA accident statistics show that in addition to the number of deaths, an estimate of 82,000 more motorcycle riders were injured. A concerning 28% of motorcyclists drive without a license. Statistics also show that up to 25% of motorcycle riders drive after drinking, 4% more than those who drive passenger cars.
22. Infinity Q50 is the car model with the highest accident percentage.
Car accident statistics show that the US average of drivers with an at-fault accident is 17.81%. This study also indicated that some car models exceed this average, even though they are rated as “good” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The deadliest car model is the Infinity Q50, with 26.25% of drivers with an at-fault incident on their record. The Subaru Crosstrek reported 25.88% of at-fault drivers, and the Subaru WRX reported 25.82%.
Car Accident Facts: The Bottom Line
The appearance of motor vehicles of all kinds made social and economic mobility between countries possible, contributing significantly to the contemporary world’s way of functioning. Yet, every year traffic results in fatal victims and impairing injuries.
Road traffic injuries cause severe economic hardships to individuals, their families, and countries as a whole. Motor vehicle crashes are a pressing global public health concern, the majority of which are preventable.
Raising awareness and creating stricter traffic regulations to reduce distracted and drunk driving is a primary intervention. Adding bike lanes and protected pedestrian walkways are further prevention methods that have been shown to reduce traffic-related fatalities.
People Also Ask
A study conducted by Esurance found that 77% of drivers have been in a minimum of one accident. The chance of getting into a car accident during a 1,000-mile trip is 1 in 366. By person type, pedestrians have the greatest odds of dying in vehicle crashes with 1 in 541, while motorcycle riders have all-time low odds with 1 in 890. Аutomobile insurance estimates that the typical driver will file auto collision insurance once every 17.9 years.
More than 38,000 people die once a year in crashes on American roads. The US traffic morbidity is 12.4 deaths per 100,000 citizens, while another 4.4 million are so injured that they need medical attention. Road crashes are the leading explanation for dying within the US for people aged 1–54. The estimated number of deaths in 2020 is over 42,000, increasing by 8% since 2019.
Worldwide, approximately 1.35 million people die in traffic accidents each year. On average, 3,700 people lose their lives daily on the roads. Additional 20–50 million have non-fatal injuries, often leading to long-term disabilities. Over 38,000 people die in traffic crashes annually within the US, accounting for over 105 fatalities daily.
The number one reason for car accidents isn’t driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, or running a red light. Distracted drivers are the highest reason behind car accidents within the US today. Cell phones are the most common distraction, but various other things can account for distraction-related accidents. Even the most trivial things, such as eating, doing makeup, or having kids in the car, can be distracting elements for a driver.
The risk of getting into a car crash is significantly high for teens aged 16 or 17. These new drivers are almost twice as likely as those aged 18–19 to be injured while driving, but older drivers are also at risk. Those aged 75 or over are more likely to die in crashes than middle-aged drivers.
Car accident statistics show that inexperienced drivers, regardless of age, are the most likely to be in a car accident. Lack of experience on the road leads to slower reaction time, poor judgment, and more potential for error.