Owning a car has become a staple of 21st-century life. We use them for driving to work, picking up the kids from school, or just taking a long night drive out on the open road.
However, when getting behind the wheel, you need to be very careful. Poor driving conditions or even a slight distraction can lead to devastating accidents.
To highlight a serious issue, we put together a collection of car crash statistics to show you the rate of fatalities and injuries on the road and the most common reasons for these incidents.
Most Relevant Car Crash Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- Six million car accidents happen in the US annually
- 93% of the global roadside fatalities happen in low-and-middle-income countries
- In the US, more than 38,000 people die in car accidents a year
- Almost half of the drivers in fatal crashes weren’t wearing seat belts
- Around 8% of high school students revealed they had driven after consuming alcohol
- About half of teens talk on their phones while driving
- Drunk driving is to blame for over 10,100 people dying in the US
- Over 45% of car deaths happen on rural roads in the US
Stats of Car Accidents Worldwide
1. 1.35 million people die in car crashes every year.
Statistics on car accident deaths per year worldwide show that most people perishing in these incidents are pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
Between 20 and 50 million people suffer non-lethal injuries, often resulting in lifelong disabilities.
2. Automobile crashes rank as the ninth leading cause of death.
(The Wandering RV)
Automobile fatality statistics disclose that car crashes account for 2.2% of all deaths around the world. Automobile crashes are the second-most dominant cause of death among young drivers between 5 and 14 years old.
3. A person dies in a driving accident every 24 seconds.
Car accident facts and stats show that pedestrians, motorbike riders, and cyclists make up 54% of all fatalities. Respectively, they comprise 23%, 28%, and 3% of these incidents.
4. Almost 400,000 people under 25 die in car accidents every year.
(The Wandering RV)
Automobile crashes are the leading cause of death among young people aged from 15 to 29. Car accident death rate data estimates that an average of 1000 people per day lose their lives on the road.
5. Around 93% of road fatalities happen in low and middle-income countries.
The vast majority of car fatalities take place in lower-income countries, according to road accident statistics worldwide.
These countries account for almost 60% of the world’s vehicles and often have poor infrastructure. The quality of the roadways, for instance, is among the reasons for these mortality rates.
6. Damages from car crashes cost countries 3% of their GDP on average.
Both non-fatal and fatal car accidents by year cost billions of dollars for damaged property, medical care for the injured, loss of productivity, and other expenses.
United States Car Accident Statistics
7. Over 38,000 people die in automobile crashes per year in the US.
Looking further into these grim car crash statistics, another 4.4 million individuals suffered injuries requiring medical attention.
Of all the high-income countries, the US is in an unfortunate lead in automobile deaths per year. It has nearly 50% more incidents than Japan, Australia, Canada, and most European countries.
8. There are six million car accidents every year.
(The Wandering RV)
While there are thousands of car accident deaths per year, millions end up in non-fatal vehicle accidents — roughly 16,438 crashes per day. An estimated 22,471 of the yearly crashes cause only property damage.
9. 16,650 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2020.
(Car and Driver)
According to data on car accident deaths in 2020, the number decreased from 16,988 in 2019 to 16,650 in 2020, dropping 2%.
10. The number of car accident deaths decreased by 16% in the first half of 2020.
According to the car deaths per year in the USA stats, the lockdown caused a significant decrease in mortality rate during the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2019.
The decline continued in the second half of the year, however not as prominent. The second quarter of 2020 shows a 3.3% drop.
11. The US traffic mortality rate is 12.4 per 100,000 citizens.
Considering the population size, the car crash fatality rate in the US is 12.4 per 100,000 citizens.
According to the most recent statistics, the US has over 17,175,893 registered cars, second only to China which takes the top place. That is among the reasons contributing to the high auto accident stats.
12. Mississippi has the most car crash deaths per 100,000 people.
(World Population Review)
That translates to 22.2 deaths per 100,000 people. Overall, the rate among the states ranges 4.4–22.2. South Carolina is right after Mississippi, with 20.4 deaths per 100,000. With 19.5 deaths per 100,000 people, Alabama is third on this list.
On the other side of the spectrum is the District of Columbia, with only 4.4 deaths per 100,000. So, according to car accident statistics by state, that’s the state with the lowest car crash deaths per 100,000 people.
13. 45% of all car crash deaths happen in rural parts of the country.
Car death statistics indicate the majority of fatal vehicular accidents take place in rural areas. Vermont has the highest concentration of countryside crash deaths — 89% of all accidents.
On the other hand, Rhode Island (4%), Massachusetts (7%), and New Jersey (11%) are the states with the lowest car crash deaths on rural roads.
Causes of Car Accidents Statistics
14. Drunk driving causes 30% of car accidents in the US.
Around 30% of car accidents involve drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, as driving accident statistics highlight.
Every day, around 29 people die because of drunk-driving crashes, meaning one every 50 minutes. For comparison, over 30% of drivers die because of speeding, while 33% — due to irresponsible driving.
15. Drunk-driving accidents cause over 10,100 deaths per year in the US.
More specifically, the number of drunk-driving deaths per year is 10,142. That translates to someone dying from a car crash in a drunken state every 52 minutes. Be aware that even a small amount of alcohol can have an immediate impact on a person.
On average, a DUI may cost around $10,000 in fines, court costs, attorney’s fees, higher insurance rates, lost time at work, car towing, and so on.
16. Distracted driving causes 14% of all crashes.
Car accident statistics reveal that a distracted driver caused eight percent of all fatal instances and 15% of the ones resulting in injuries.
15-to-18-year-old drivers have the highest rate of fatal crashes due to distractions.
17. Approximately 481,000 drivers use their phones while driving.
Driver accident statistics estimate that texting while driving is six times more dangerous than being drunk behind the wheel.
18. Drivers hit over two million animals from July 2020 to June 2021.
Compared to the year before, that showed a 7.2% rise. Moreover, the most dangerous months for these collisions are October, November, and December.
As for the states where most of these animal collisions happen, they are Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas, California, and North Carolina.
19. Around 21% of all vehicle crashes occur due to adverse weather conditions.
Weather-related road crash statistics show about 5,376 fatalities and over 418,000 injuries annually.
Bad weather is among the primary causes of car accidents, statistics show. 70% of the cases occur on wet roads and 46% while raining.
In comparison, 22% of all non-fatal vehicle crashes occur on slick roads, 18% happen because of sleet and snow, 16% because of slushy roads, and 13% due to icy pavements. Only 3% are due to fog.
20. An average of 158 people die in fatal car crashes every Saturday.
Of all the days to drive, Saturday proves to be the most dangerous. Stats on car accident deaths per year in the US indicate Saturday is twice as fatal as any other day of the workweek.
Similarly, the time window between 5 pm and 7 pm is the most dangerous, while August is the most perilous month to be on the road.
Car Crash Fatality Rate and Safety Measures
21. 47% of drivers in fatal crashes weren’t wearing seat belts.
According to US car accident statistics, the use of seat belts saved 14,955 lives in a year. In 2020, the use rate of belts was over 90%.
According to the most recent research, wearing a seat belt in a crash reduces the chances of dying by 45%.
22. About 97% of front-seat passengers in Hawaii wore a seatbelt in 2019.
Traffic accident statistics show us a promising trend among US drivers — over 90% of them wore seat belts.
The state with the highest observed seat belt use was Hawaii. On the other side of the coin, the lowest rate of 71% was in New Hampshire.
23. 53% of motor vehicle accident deaths occurred in single-vehicle accidents in 2019.
Single-vehicle accident statistics by state shows that Maine had the highest percentage of deaths in 2019 — 68%.
Nebraska, however, had the most multiple-vehicle crash deaths that year — 57%.
24. Around 58% of police-reported fatal car crashes only involved a single vehicle.
Over half of the reported fatal incidents on the road involved one car. On the other hand, a statistic on car accidents reveals 63% of motorcyclist deaths happen in multiple-vehicle crashes.
25. About 61% of all fatal accidents involved passenger cars or light trucks.
Motor vehicle accident statistics show that 34% of the cases in 2019 involved a passenger car and 27% a light truck, such as an SUV or a pickup.
In comparison, large trucks accounted for 2% of vehicles in fatal accidents in 2019.
26. Alaska had the highest fatal SUV and pickup crash rate of 48% in 2019.
Alaska’s car accident rate emphasizes a high number of crash fatalities involving SUVs and pickup vehicles. In comparison, New Jersey had the lowest — 12%.
Children and Teens Automobile Accident Stats
27. Over 1,600 children under the age of 15 die in car crashes every year.
(The Wandering RV)
Auto accident statistics also show that nearly 8000 people were killed in car crashes with drivers aged between 16 and 20.
28. 8.2% of high school students admitted driving one or more times under alcohol influence.
(Edgar Snyder & Associates)
Teenage crash statistics show that over 5.8% of 16-and-17-year-olds have admitted to drinking and driving. The same applies to 15.1% of 18-to-20-year-olds and 13.5% of 12th graders.
29. 39% of high school students occasionally email or text while driving.
According to statistics for road accidents involving high schoolers, 44% of white students often get distracted by their phones while driving, as opposed to 30% of Black and 35% of Hispanic.
30. Over half of the teens talk on their phones while driving.
(Edgar Snyder & Associates)
According to teenage car accident statistics, 56% of teens talk on their phones, and 13% text while driving.
Additionally, 48% of people aged between 12 and 17 said they were in a car while the driver was texting.
31. About 28% of young drivers killed in car accidents had a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher.
(Edgar Snyder & Associates)
According to teen car accident statistics, one-quarter of the fatal instances involve underage drinking.
33% of the young drivers aged 15 to 20 killed in crashes had a BAC of 0.1 or higher. Car accident statistics by age and gender show that 27% of male high school students and 15% of females involved in fatal crashes have consumed alcohol.
Car Crash Facts — Conclusion
A single moment of distraction or loss of control on the road is enough to create a genuinely dangerous situation. Unfortunately, it happens to thousands of people worldwide, causing numerous injuries and deaths every day.
We compiled these car accident statistics to show the dangers of irresponsible driving and the precautions one must take before getting behind a steering wheel.
The US, unfortunately, takes the lead among the high-income countries for car crash fatalities, but awareness and prevention policies are in place to help minimize the numbers.
People Also Ask
The estimated odds of being a part of a car accident in the US are around 1 in 103. For comparison, the chances of dying from a nasty fall are one in 111 and one in 98 — of an opioid overdose.
On a global level, car accidents rank as the 9th most common cause of death.
The stats on fatal car crashes show that 12.4 per 100,000 prove lethal every year in the US.
Distraction, alcohol intake, and weather conditions are among the primary reasons for deadly incidents on the road.
Globally, 1.35 million people die in car accidents every year, translating to one person every 24 seconds.
Also, between 20 and 50 million people wind up injured in car crashes.
In the US, over 38,000 people die in car crashes on the roads every year, most of which are pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists.
Distracted drivers are the leading cause of automobile crashes in the US. Lack of attention behind the wheel causes between 14% of all accidents and eight percent of the fatalities.
Among the most common distractions are talking on a phone, eating food, sending a text message, or slowing down to better look at something.
According to car crash statistics, the most common causes of fatal accidents are alcohol intake, speeding, and irresponsible driving. Drunk driving kills a person 28 times per day in the US.
On the other hand, fast driving causes 30% of deaths on the road and distractions — 33%.