Our team reviewed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to find some of the most useful car accident statistics from recent years.
Fatal Car Accident Statistics
According to data obtained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , traffic accidents were responsible for the loss of 37,461 lives in 2016.
In 2015, 32,539 collisions that occurred around the country resulted in fatalities. These accidents were responsible for a reported 35,485 traffic deaths.
In 2014, 30,056 collisions that occurred around the country resulted in fatalities. These accidents were responsible for a reported 32,744 traffic deaths.
The CDC published a study in 2014 that found approximately 90 people lose their lives in motor-vehicle collisions throughout the United States every single day—the highest fatality rate among comparable developed nations.
Each year, at least 32,000 people lose their lives in auto wrecks and an additional 2 million people are injured.
In 2013, the fatality rate for traffic crashes in the United States was more than double the average of that of other developed nations.
From 2000 to 2013, traffic deaths in the United States fell 31 percent. In 19 different developed nations, the average decline in traffic deaths was 56 percent.
The CDC published a study in 2014 that found more than 18,000 people could be saved annually if traffic fatalities in the United States were the same as the average rate of 19 different developed nations.
From 2015 to 2016, traffic deaths increased for virtually all demographics and in almost all scenarios: daytime/nighttime, male/female, alcohol-impaired driving, pedal cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, tractor-trailer occupants, and passenger-vehicle occupants.
Tire-related wrecks were responsible for 738 fatalities in 2017.
Car Accident Injury Statistics
More than 2.4 million people sustained injuries in motor-vehicle collisions throughout the United States in 2015.
More than 2.3 million people sustained injuries in motor-vehicle collisions throughout the United States in 2014.
Car Accident Seat Belt Use Statistics
In 2016, 10,428 people who died in motor-vehicle collisions were not restrained when the accident occurred, representing a 4.6 percent increase in the number of unbelted fatalities.
The CDC published a study in 2014 that concluded front safety belt use is lower in the United States than in almost all other comparable developed nations.
In 2013, the failure to wear a safety belt or use an adequate car or booster seat was responsible for more than 9,500 traffic fatalities.
In 2013, safety belts saved more than 12,500 lives throughout the United States; however, the country’s safety belt use was lower than average when compared with other developed nations. Approximately 50 percent of vehicle occupants who died in collisions in 2013 in the United States were not restrained when the accident occurred.
In 2016, 50 percent of speeding passenger-vehicle motorists involved in fatal collisions were not restrained when the accident occurred.
Car Accident Risk Factor Statistics
Human error is a contributing factor in more than 9 out of 10 of all motor-vehicle collisions in the United States.
Traffic fatalities attributed to distracted driving (3,450 deaths) decreased by 2.2 percent in 2016.
Traffic fatalities attributed to drowsy driving (803 deaths) decreased by 3.5 percent in 2016.
Traffic fatalities attributed to drunk driving (10,497 deaths) increased by 1.7 percent in 2016.
Traffic fatalities attributed to speeding (10,111 deaths) increased by 4 percent in 2016.
In 2016, speeding was a contributing factor in approximately 27 percent of all car accidents.
Addressing major car accident risk factors and reducing their prevalence could save hundreds of millions of dollars in healthcare expenses—and thousands of lives—annually.
Car Accident Statistics by Age
Approximately 6 percent of motorists in the United States are between 15 and 20 years old; however, approximately 10 percent of fatal collisions and 13 percent of reported wrecks that result in injury involve at least one driver between 15 and 20 years old.
In 2015, car accidents were the leading cause of death for 10-year-olds in the United States, as well as for those between the ages of 16 and 23.
Fatal Accidents by Vehicle Type
Passenger-vehicle occupant deaths increased 5.1 percent in 2015, or by 651 additional fatalities.
SUV occupant deaths increased by 5.2 percent in 2015, or by 219 additional fatalities.
Van occupant deaths increased by 8.4 percent in 2015, or by 95 additional fatalities.
Pickup truck occupant deaths increased by 1.5 percent in 2015, or by 68 additional fatalities.