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Posted On March 2, 2020 Personal Injury

182 Car Accident Statistics and Facts That Will Shock You

Cars are part of our culture now and with over 276 Million vehicles on the road in the U.S., our favorite mode of transportation isn’t going anywhere soon.

Sadly, due to the numbers of cars, the amount of driving we do, and human error, there are going to be times when car accidents happen.

To better understand the scale of the problem of car accidents on our roads, we collected 182 car accident statistics and facts.

Many of these will be surprising and shocking to learn.

However, by the time you have finished reading, you will have a greater understanding of how driving, car accidents and human error affect our society.

Check it out:

General Car Accident Facts and Statistics

These are general road accident facts and statistics.

  1.   The years 2016-2018 experienced at least 40,000 roadway deaths. – View resource 
  2.   On average drivers spend 51 minutes diving every day. – View resource
  3.   In 2016 and 2017 American drivers alone drove 2.6 trillion miles. – View resource
  4.   Drivers made 183 billion trips in 2016 and 2017. – View resource
  5.   You will file a claim for a collision approximately once every 17.9 years. – View resource
  6.   The number 1 killer of US citizens traveling abroad is road crashes. – View resource
  7.   The most dangerous days to drive are Saturday and Sunday. – View resource
  8.   The most dangerous time to drive is 4:00-7:00 pm. – View resource
  9.   Crashes killed over 33,000 people in 2009. – View resource
  10.   2.2 million people were injured in car accidents in 2009. – View resource
  11.   There is an average of 6 million car accidents every year in the U.S. – View resource
  12.   Road crashes cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year! – View resource
  13.   2.5 million people are injured or disabled in car accidents each year. – View resource
  14.   Nearly 8,000 people care killed in crashes involving drivers ages 16-20. – View resource
  15.   102 people died each day in motor vehicle crashes in 2016. – View resource
  16.   0.53% of accidents resulted in a fatality in 2017. – View resource
  17.   29% resulted in a non-fatal injury in 2017. – View resource
  18.   70% of crashes resulted in property damage in 2017. – View resource
  19.   A pedestrian is killed in a motor vehicle crash every 1-1/2 hours. – View resource
  20.   Traffic fatalities increased by 6% from 2015 to 2016. – View resource
  21.   Traffic fatalities accounted for 95% of transportation-related deaths. – View resource
  22.   Thanksgiving has the highest number of car accident deaths. – View resource
  23.   9.3% of people did not wear a seat belt when driving in 2019. – View resource
  24.   47% of people unrestrained were killed in 2019. – View resource
  25.   14,955 lives were saved by seat belts in 2017. – View resource
  26.   Seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45%. – View resource
  27.   The risk of critical injury can be cut by 50% if you wear a seat belt. – View resource
  28.   People not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle in a crash. – View resource
  29.   Airbags are designed to work with seat belts. – View resource
  30.   Older drivers (75+) have higher crash rates than people aged 35-54. – View resource
  31.   53% of police-reported fatal car accidents only involved one vehicle in 2018. – View resource
  32.   18.6% of all fatal car accidents began from a collision with another motor vehicle in 2017. – View resource
  33.   Car accident fatality rates for males aged 16-19 was double the rate of their counterparts (2016). – View resource
  34.   8 million passenger cars were involved in accidents in 2017. – View resource
  35. 8% of fatal crashes are due to rollovers. – View resource 
  36. 13% of over 65’s had a BAC of 0.8 or higher when a pedestrian died. – View resource
  37.   Passenger vehicles who speeding are more likely to be unrestrained. – View resource

Car Accident Stats Based on Geographic Location

What about where you live? You might be surprised to read the data we have about regional car accidents and driving.

  1.   Mississippi has the smallest percentage of speeding drivers who are alcohol-impaired. –  View resource
  2.   Nationally 37% of speeding drivers are alcohol-impaired. – View resource
  3.   Montana had the highest auto fatality rate in 2009. – View resource
  4.   Connecticut had the lowest auto fatality rate in 2009. – View resource
  5.   The District of Columbia has the highest percentage of bicyclist fatalities. – View resource
  6.   Several states had zero bicycle deaths including Alaska, Missouri, and South Dakota. – View resource
  7.   28% of New York’s crash deaths are pedestrians. – View resource
  8.   California had the highest number of car occupants die in a crash in 2018. – View resource
  9.   The District of Columbia had only 7 car occupants die in 2018. – View resource
  10.   Montana had the highest percentage single-vehicle crashes in 2018. – View resource
  11.   Oklahoma had the highest percentage of multiple-vehicle crashes in 2018. – View resource
  12.   100% of drivers killed in the District of Columbia had a positive alcohol reading in 2018. – View resource
  13.   Only 26% of drivers killed had a known BAC result. – View resource
  14.   South Dakota has had the largest percentage increase in alcohol-impaired driving fatalities between 2007 to 2016. – View resource
  15.   Between 2007 and 2016 Mississippi had the greatest decrease of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities (47%). – View resource
  16.   75% of vehicle occupants killed in the District of Columbia were unrestrained. – View resource
  17.   California and Texas had the highest rates of car accidents in 2018. – View resource
  18.   The District of Columbia had the fewest number of fatalities in the 65+ age group in 2015. – View resource
  19.   Wisconsin had the highest percentage of fatalities for older people. – View resource
  20.   Wyoming had the lowest percentage of fatalities in the 65+ age range. – View resource

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

In this section we address motorcycle facts and accident statistics.

  1.   5,286 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2016. – View resource
  2.   71% of people wore a helmet in 2018. – View resource
  3.   Two-thirds of motorcycle accidents are caused by vehicles not giving the motorcyclists right of way. – View resource
  4.   There were over 8.6 million registered motorcycles in 2016. – View resource
  5.   Per 100,000 registered motorcycles there were 25.85 fatalities in 2017. – View resource
  6.   25% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were riding without a valid license. – View resource
  7.   Motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were found to have the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers. – View resource
  8.   43% of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2017 were alcohol-impaired. – View resource
  9.   Helmets reduce the risk of death by 37%. – View resource
  10.   Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69%.  – View resource
  11.   Motorcycle accidents occur more frequently during the week. – View resource
  12.   Fuel system leaks were present post-crash in 62% of motorcycle collisions. – View resource
  13.   Motorcyclists killed at night were 3 times more likely to be alcohol-impaired than those in the day. – View resource
  14.   It is estimated helmets saved 1,859 lives in 2016.  – View resource
  15.   If all motorcyclists had worn helmets in 2016, 802 more lives could have been saved. – View resource
  16.   1997 was the least deadly year for motorcycle riders. – View resource
  17.   Motorcycles have the highest occupant fatality rates (2008) – View resource
  18.   3 pm to 6 pm is the most dangerous time for motorcyclists to be on the road. – View resource
  19.   Less than 10% of motorcyclists in accidents have insurance of any kind. – View resource
  20.   Vehicle failure accounts for less than 3% of accidents. – View resource
  21.   27% of motorcycle riders involved fatal accidents were alcohol-impaired. – View resource
  22.   You are 2.7 times more likely to be involved in an accident when under the influence than a car driver. – View resource
  23.   73% of the accident-involved motorcycle riders used no eye protection. – View resource
  24.   Over 70% of motorcyclists killed were not wearing a helmet in 2016. – View resource

Truck and Bus Crash Statistics

In this section we are looking at truck and bus accident stats and facts.

  1.   From 2017 to 2018 there was a 3% increase in truck and bus accidents. – View resource
  2.   5 million light trucks were involved in accidents in 2017. – View resource
  3.   1 million large trucks were involved in accidents in 2017. – View resource
  4.   1% of large truck crashes had fatalities. – View resource
  5.   63% of truck accidents are two-vehicle accidents. – View resource
  6.   A driver-related factor was stated in 32% of large truck accidents involving fatalities in 2017. – View resource
  7.   3% of large truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2017 had a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.8 or higher. – View resource
  8.   Over-tiredness of truck drivers resulted in 60 deaths in 2017. – View resource
  9.   Hazardous Materials were present on 3% of large trucks involved in fatal accidents. – View resource
  10.   In 72% of fire truck crashes with a fatality the fatality occurred in the other vehicle. – View resource
  11.   There were 450,000 crashes involving large trucks in 2017. – View resource
  12.   57% of all fatal truck crashes were in rural areas. – View resource
  13.   The vast number of truck crashes occur Monday through Friday. – View resource
  14.   22% of truck injury crashes occur between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am. – View resource
  15.   The number of fatal crashes for the 10,001 to 14,000-pound trucks increased by 225% in 2017. – View resource
  16.   In 91% of large truck fatality crashes, there is only one fatality. – View resource

Vulnerable Passengers and Drivers Statistics

There are a range of more vulnerable people on the roads, and we address that here.

  1.   Over 6,900 older adults (65+) were killed in motor vehicle crashes. – View resource
  2.   More than 257,000 older adults (65+) were treated in emergency departments for motor vehicle crash injuries. –  View resource
  3.   Only 8% of older drivers (75+) involved in fatal car accidents had a blood alcohol level 0.08 or higher. – View resource
  4.   74% of fatalities in crashes involving older people occurred in the daytime. – View resource
  5.   67% of crashes involving older drivers involved other people. – View resource
  6.   Florida had the highest number of fatalities of people 65+ in 2015. – View resource
  7.   675 children (12 and under) have died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes in 2017. – View resource
  8.   Nearly 116,000 children were injured in 2017. – View resource
  9.   In 2017, 49% of children that died in a crash were 8-12 years and were not buckled up. – View resource
  10.   From 2001-2010, approximately 1 in 5 child passenger (<15 years old) deaths involved alcohol-impaired driving. – View resource
  11.   Almost 40% of children that were riding without a seat belt were in a car where the driver was also unrestrained. – View resource
  12.   Children’s between 2 and 6 years old who are in a child seat are 28% less likely to be killed in a crash than those who are using a seat belt. –  View resource
  13.   It is estimated that 72% of car seats and booster seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness. – View resource
  14.   Using a car/booster seat for children up to 8 years old reduced fatal and incapacitating injuries by 17%. – View resource
  15.   12,546 children were saved by child restraints and safety belts. – View resource
  16.   People over age 65 accounted for 18% of all traffic fatalities in 2017. – View resource

Drowsy and Distracted Driving

People often drive while tired or distracted, check out the statistics and facts we uncovered here.

  1.   It is estimated that 1 in 25 adult drivers (18 or older) report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days. – View resource
  2.   846 fatalities were recorded as drowsy driving-related in 2014. – View resource
  3.   83,000 crashes are estimated to have been a result of drowsy driving (2005-2009). – View resource
  4.   The majority of drowsy driving crashes occur between 12:00 am and 6:00 am. – View resource
  5.   59% of car trips where the driver admitted to being drowsy occurred while driving on an interstate type highway with speed limits of 55 mph or higher. – View resource
  6.   In 2017 599 non-occupants (pedestrians, cyclists, and others) were killed in distraction-affected crashes. – View resource
  7.   37% of 20-29 year olds were using cell phones when involved in a fatal crash in 2017. – View resource
  8.   In 2017 6% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted. – View resource
  9.   297 people died as a result of drivers 15-19 years old being distracted. – View resource
  10.   Distracted driving accounted for 3,166 deaths in 2017.  – View resource
  11.   You are 23 times more likely to crash while texting and driving. – View resource
  12.   Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. – View resource
  13.   40% of American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. – View resource
  14.   7% of respondents have experienced a near-crash in the past year due to phone usage. – View resource
  15.   Women have more phone involvement while driving than men. – View resource
  16.   Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 50 mph, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of the entire football field blind. – View resource
  17.   Nearly 1 in 3 people admit to sending and or receiving text messages while driving. – View resource
  18.   69% of people surveyed admitted to talking on the phone while driving. – View resource

Driving under the influence of Drugs and Alcohol

Yes, people often drive under the influence. The stats here are frightening.

  1.   There is one alcohol-impaired driving fatality every 48 minutes on average. – View resource
  2.   The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion. – View resource
  3.   12.6 million drove under the influence of illegal drugs in 2017. – View resource
  4.   It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.8 or higher in every state. – View resource
  5.   Drinking and driving among teens in high school has gone down by 54% since 1991. – View resource
  6.   High school teens drive after drinking about 2.4 million times a month. – View resource
  7.   10,511 people were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2018. –  View resource
  8.   29% of deaths were associated with alcohol-impaired crashes in 2018. – View resource
  9.   27% of 21-24 years old drivers in fatal crashes were impaired. – View resource
  10.   About 16% of drivers in fatal crashes that are positive for alcohol are below the limit. – View resource
  11.   89% of drivers are alcohol-impaired in fatal crashes in clear or cloudy weather. – View resource
  12.   69% of alcohol-impaired fatal crashes occur in the dark. – View resource
  13.   DUI is one of the most frequently committed crimes. – View resource
  14.   June has the most alcohol-impaired crashes in the year. – View resource
  15.   Repeat DUI offenders account for about one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. – View resource
  16.   Among fatally-injured drivers, 18% tested positive for at least one drug in 2009. – View resource
  17.   Driving Under the Influence accounts for 32% of all traffic-related death is 2008. – View resource
  18.   Children who start drinking early are seven times more likely to be involved in an alcohol-related crash. – View resource
  19.   Utah has the lowest percentage of teens (16 years and older) that drink and drive at 4.6%. – View resource
  20.   North Dakota has the highest percentage (14.5%) of over 15 teens that drink and drive. – View resource
  21.   From 2007 to 2014, there was a 48 percent increase in weekend nighttime drivers testing positive for THC, the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. – View resource
  22.   1 in 5 motorists killed in car crashes in 2009 tested positive for drugs. – View resource
  23.   Marijuana users are more likely to be in crashes. – View resource
  24.   More than a third of teens believe they have better driving abilities under the influence of marijuana. – View resource
  25.   1 in 5 teen drivers say they have driven under the influence of marijuana. –View resource
  26.   There has been a 48% increase in weekend nighttime drivers testing positive for marijuana in less than 10 years .- View resource
  27.   Nearly 8.8% of Washington drivers involved in fatal car accidents tested positive for THC. – View resource
  28.   20-30% of crashes involving marijuana occurred due to use of the drug. – View resource
  29.   You are twice as likely to be responsible for a deadly crash if you have THC in your system. – View resource
  30.   A first-time offense of driving under the influence of alcohol can cost the driver as much as $10,000 in fines and legal fees. – View resource
  31.   In 2016, more than 1 million drivers were pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. – View resource
  32.   1 in 10 teens in high school drinks and drives. – View resource
  33.   Young drivers (ages 16-20) are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% than when they have not been drinking. – View resource
  34.   There is a decreasing trend in alcohol use since 1973. – View resource
  35.   Of all people pulled over as suspected drinking and driving, just 0.4% were over the alcohol limit. – View resource
  36.   85% of crashes involving alcohol are because of alcohol use versus 20 to 30 percent of crashes involving
    marijuana that occurred because of the marijuana use. – View resource

Car Accidents Due To Speeding Statistics

We know speed kills, but this data we have uncovered will make anyone think twice before pressing their foot on the accelerator.

  1.   87% of speeding-related fatalities occurred on non-interstate roadways. – View resource
  2.   There were 37,133 fatalities were due to speeding in 2017. – View resource
  3.   The number of fatalities from 2016-2017 decreased by 6%. – View resource
  4.   31% of male drivers in the 15-to-20 age group were involved in speeding. – View resource
  5.   49% of speeding drivers in fatal crashes were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the car accident. – View resource
  6.   37% of all speeding drivers in fatal car accidents were alcohol-impaired. – View resource

Weather Related Car Accident Statistics

Driving in hazardous conditions can seriously affect driving, but these weather related driving statistics really make you twice before setting out on your journey.

  1.   An estimated 21% percent of crashes are due to inclement weather. –View resource 
  2.   Weather-related car accidents account for nearly 5,000 fatalities. – View resource
  3.   Weather-related incidents also account for 418,000 injuries. – View resource
  4.   15% of vehicle crashes were due to wet pavement. – View resource
  5.   2% of crash fatalities are due to snow and sleet. – View resource
  6.   464 people were killed due to fog. – View resource
  7.   Over 200,000 crashes are due to sleet and snow. – View resource
  8.   Icy pavement accounts for 150,000 accidents. – View resource
  9.   Wet weather is generally the leading cause of all weather-related crashes. – View resource


So there you have it.

182 car accident statistics and facts.

Feel free to share this post to raise awareness around driver safety!