What type of driver are you—the one who reads all car accident statistics or the one who thinks a crash will never happen to them?
Often, the fear of driving can cause more harm than good, but being overly confident isn’t helpful either. The fact is that car accidents are the main cause of death, with around 1.3 million people losing their lives every year.
Knowing the reasons behind crashes, the time when most of them occur, and the number of fatalities can help everyone be more cautious in traffic. For this reason, we collected some of the most shocking figures and listed them in this article.
Auto Accidents Stats (Editor’s Choice)
- Speeding-caused accidents increased by 17% in 2020.
- More than a million people are killed in traffic accidents annually.
- Over 3,000 car accident fatalities occurred in January 2022.
- 1 in 3 traffic deaths was caused by drunk driving in 2019.
- Self-driving cars are most often hit from the rear.
- Half of the fatalities have happened as a consequence of collisions between motor vehicles.
- The 25–44 age group has the highest number of fatalities.
Must-Know Car Crash Statistics
1. In 2020, most fatal car accidents occurred on weekends, especially Saturdays.
Saturdays were the most dangerous for traffic participants in 2020. The time between 8 PM and 11:59 PM was especially fatal. During that period, 1,521 fatal crashes happened, which is 4,3% of all the accidents that year. On the other hand, the lowest percentage of fatal accidents (1.2%) occurred on Tuesdays, between midnight and 4 AM.
2. Almost 28% of deaths were consequences of alcohol-impaired driving in 2019.
The reports of fatal car accidents by year show that drunk driving is one of the major reasons for traffic deaths. So much so that nearly a third of all car accident casualties in 2019 were caused by driving under the influence of alcohol.
Although the figure is very high, it is the lowest since NHTSA first reported drunk driving data in 1982.
3. Majority of the world’s traffic fatalities happen in low- and middle-income countries.
The World Health Organization reported some surprising car accident rates in 2021. According to the data they collected, 93% of traffic accidents happen in countries of poorer socioeconomic status. The highest death levels due to car crashes are in the African region. The possible reasons behind this might be that roads are in a bad condition and cars aren’t always safe for driving.
4. Around half of the casualties occurred during collisions between motor vehicles.
Out of all the types of vehicle crashes with fatalities in 2020, the most common one was among two or more motor vehicles (41%). As reported by the auto accidents stats, 77% of injuries happened in this kind of incident.
A crash between a fixed object and a vehicle was the second most common type of accident (28%). It was followed by crashes involving pedestrians and non-collisions, such as rollovers.
5. Crashes due to speeding rose by 17% in 2020.
Even though the rate of speeding accidents increased in 2020, the number of deaths caused by it went down. In fact, the figure decreased by 5% in that year. Although this percentage is not very high, it could serve as a ray of hope for the future.
Car Deaths per Year
6. Road traffic crashes are responsible for around 1.3 million deaths every year.
Annually, more than a million people lose their lives in traffic accidents worldwide. This number includes all the people who were involved in crashes, such as drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. There are various reasons these incidents occur. Yet, the question remains how many lives could be saved by following the safety regulations.
7. More than 6,000 people were rollover casualties in 2019.
The car accident statistics classify a crash as a rollover if the vehicle is tipped on its side or roof after the incident. In 2019, 6,358 people died in this type of accident.
The majority (74%) of rollovers were caused by a crash. The surprising stat is that 26% of vehicles rolled over without hitting anything before the incident.
8. The highest death rate per 100 million vehicle miles was in June and September 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 influenced traffic and other aspects of our daily lives. According to the road accident statistics worldwide from 2020, there was a significant decrease in the traffic rate in April. Unfortunately, this didn’t mean the fatality rates were lower, too. On the contrary, they spiked during this month and stayed high during the rest of the year.
9. It is estimated that 31,720 people died in motor vehicle traffic accidents from January to September 2021.
In addition, the car accident statistics from 2021 show that’s more casualties than in the first nine months of 2020 (an increase of around 12%). This data is worrying as it can only be assumed that the rise in percentage will continue.
10. In March 2022, 3,570 people died in crashes.
So far for the current year, we have information on vehicle fatalities until March. The data shows that 3,140 people lost their lives in February, while 3,360 died in January. The number is quite high, and we can hope it will be lower in the following months.
Car Accident Statistics by Age for 2020
11. In 2020, the majority of motor-vehicle fatalities were from the 25–44 age group.
More than 14,000 fatalities were from this age group. The lowest death rate was among the children 0–4 (423 casualties), followed by the 5–14 age group (892).
12. People between the ages of 25 and 44 had the highest death rates in collisions with fixed objects—4,489.
The number of deaths depends on the type of crash and age. According to the car accident statistics from 2020, there were more than 12,000 fatalities in crashes with fixed objects just in the US. Most of them were younger adults. Their death rate in this type of collision was 6.3 per 100,000 people, as opposed to 3.6 for all other age groups.
13. 16–19-year-olds were responsible for 8.9% of all crashes.
The data provided by the car accident statistics by state 2020 shows that teenagers caused a worrying number of crashes in the US. There are 3.5% of licensed drivers in this age group. Out of those, 8.9% of drivers were responsible for traffic accidents, and 6% for fatal crashes.
The number of licensed drivers grows among the young drivers 16 and older. But the good news is that the accident rate decreases for this age group.
14. People between the ages of 65 and 74 accounted for 6.9% of all crashes.
The automotive accidents statistics report that the older generation has more licensed drivers than the previous age group (13.7% in total). However, they cause fewer crashes and 7.7% of fatal accidents. It might be due to more experience or better focus while driving, but people from the age group 65–74 tend to bring about fewer traffic accidents than teenagers (6.0%).
US Car Accident Statistics
15. More than 46,000 people die in car accidents every year.
This is the highest death rate since 2007. The spike in numbers is worrying as, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was less traffic on the roads. So, there should have been fewer casualties.
16. New York had the highest rate of fatalities who wore seat belts (55%) and Nebraska the lowest one (23%).
Rates of restraint use are quite high in the US. As the car accident statistics show, 90% of front-seat car passengers used seat belts in 2020. If observed by states, the highest percentage of seat belt use was in Columbia (96%) and the lowest in South Dakota (68%).
The rates of casualties who wore seat belts are lower than the overall rates of seat belt use. This goes to show that there are fewer fatally injured vehicle passengers who used restraint, as opposed to the ones who didn’t.
17. From January to September 2021, 31,720 people lost their lives in traffic accidents.
The car accident fatality rate reports a worrying number of traffic casualties. This figure can be compared to the one from 2020 when 28,325 people lost their lives in traffic accidents. There are various reasons these crashes happened and people died. However, many of them might have been saved if the participants had followed the regulations.
18. 53% fewer people aged 70 and older died in car crashes in 2019 than they did in 1975.
When the car crash date rate by age is analyzed, we can see a couple of promising stats. The first one is that almost less than a half of elderly people (above 70) are traffic fatalities now than in 1975. The second stat shows that the number of teenagers killed in car accidents declined by 73% in the same period. Hopefully, the number will go even lower as the time passes.
Self Driving Car Accident Statistics
19. Per every million miles, there are around 9.1 driverless car crashes.
(The National Law Review)
Driverless cars appear to be the future, as an increasing number of people buy them. However, some still wonder how safe a self-driving car is and whether they should trust this technology.
The most recent data shows that this type of vehicle has a higher accident rate than a human-driven car. Per million miles, the rate for cars was 4.1. Yet, in self-driving cars, the number of serious injuries was lower.
20. Getting hit from the rear is the most common self-driving car accident.
(IoT World Today)
As car accident statistics report, self-driving cars usually crash with person-driven cars. Most often, these vehicles were rear-ended in traffic or while stopping. Most of these accidents happen because people are distracted and don’t pay attention to the road.
21. Google’s self-driving car had its first traffic accident in February 2016.
This was one of the first self-driving car crashes and thus interesting to the public. According to the report, the car and bus collided when the car in the automated mode wanted to maneuver around some sandbags on the road.
But as many road crash statistics show, crashes occur in traffic daily and for many reasons. It is difficult to make a statement on whether self-driving cars are safe based on the data we have so far. More time will have to pass to see how exactly these cars behave on the road.
22. From 2018 to 2021, 11 Tesla self-driving car accidents were documented.
According to Tesla statistics, driving their cars on autopilot is safe, but the car crash rates are worrying. In four years, there were 17 injuries and 1 death. The investigation discovered that the crashes occurred when Tesla cars hit accident scenes, even though they were visibly marked.
Moreover, the majority of incidents took place after dark, and each crash scene involved control measures such as an illuminated arrow board, flares, first responder vehicle lights, and road cones. The company promised to look into the matter and fix the problem.
Automobile Accident Stats—Wrapping It Up
The stats from this article can serve as examples of the consequences car crashes can have on people and property. The loss of lives on the roads is the most tragic outcome. However, there are other negative effects of car crashes, such as injuries, property damage, and lawsuits.
The majority of these could be prevented or minimized by obeying the rules and regulations of the country. This is the best way to help yourself stay safe on the road and protect those around you.
People Also Ask
What is the #1 cause of accidents?
The number one reason behind crashes is distracted driving. Some of the most common activities that divert the driver’s attention are texting, talking on the phone, eating, reaching for something, and putting on makeup.
The typical distracted drivers are those with a lot of driving experience. They usually think they can multitask while driving, which leads to a lack of attention on the road and the eventual accident.
What is the number 1 cause of fatal car accidents?
Drunk driving is why most lives are lost in traffic. Alcohol influences our senses and coordination. So, a higher amount of alcohol in the blood will result in impairing our vision and hearing. Also, it will slow down our ability to react. As it was already said in the article, impaired driving caused more than 30% of traffic fatalities in 2019. The only way to prevent this type of crash is not to drink and drive.
What is one of the two biggest causes of car crashes?
The second on the list of traffic accident causes, followed by distracted driving, is speeding. As mentioned in the text, crashes due to speeding increased by 17% in 2020. There are two important reasons driving over the speed limit can be fatal. The first one is that the faster you go, the less time you have to react to an event on the road. The second is the higher pressure of forces that leads to a stronger impact on your body during the collision.
How common are car accident deaths?
Vehicle-caused crashes occur every day. It is estimated that 1.3 million lose their lives on the roads per year. As we already saw in the article, more than 3,000 traffic fatalities occurred in January 2022 alone. These worrying figures only prove how often car accidents happen. So, it is important to follow the regulations to avoid any tragic events on the road, car accident statistics show.