Car Accident Statistics you Need to Know in 2024

In the United States, a car accident occurs every 13 minutes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While technology and new regulations are making vehicles safer, car accidents continue to be a leading cause of death in the U.S.

Here, you will find the latest car accident statistics. In addition, we provide insight into the leading causes of car accidents, where and when accidents are most likely to occur, and who is most likely to be a victim.

Quick car accident statistics

Here are a few quick car accident statistics to give you a general idea about the rate and impact.

Total number of car accidents per year in the U.S.

As of December 2022, there are over 284 million vehicles operating on roads throughout the U.S. In 2023, there will be a projected 243.4 million licensed drivers on U.S. roadways. This is up from 238.6 million in 2022.

On average, there are over 6 million passenger car accidents in the U.S. every year. Road crashes are the leading cause of death in the country, resulting in more than 38,000 people losing their lives each year. 

U.S. states with the most car accidents

Different states in the U.S. experience car accidents at different rates. This can be attributed to the fact that each state has different demographics, traffic laws, weather, travel speeds, and topography.

California leads the nation with the highest rate of traffic fatalities. In that state, a person is killed in a collision every 2.5 hours.

While Florida ranks third-highest with 3,098 fatal car accidents each year. In fact, Tampa is fourth in the nation for the cities with the most car accidents.

You can view detailed car accident statistics by state here.

Tampa storm
Find out why Tampa is the 4th worst city in the country for car accidents here.

Pedestrian and cyclist accidents

Traffic accidents and fatalities don’t just affect drivers and their passengers; they also affect pedestrians and cyclists.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), in 2022, pedestrian fatalities increased by 2%. Cyclists fared worse, with an 8% increase in traffic-related deaths.

Pedestrian and cyclist accidents are increasing in frequency. Experts suggest this is due to an increase in distracted driving.

Car accidents by age and sex

A driver’s age and sex also appear to affect his or her chances of being in a road accident. For instance, according to the World Health Organization, injuries from road accidents are the leading cause of death in children and adults aged 5 to 29 years. 

In the U.S., drivers within the age range of 16 to 20 years have the highest fatal crashes involvement of 34 per 100,000 licensed drivers, despite making up the smallest percentage of licensed drivers. The average rate for all age groups is 12 per 100,000.

Based on available data, from 2009 to 2018, men are three times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than women. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “In 2018, almost 2,500 teens in the United States aged 13–19 were killed, and about 285,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes.” 

Most common causes of fatal accidents among teenagers

Woman in car

Several factors can contribute to a driver’s chances of being in a car accident. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies the leading factors for car accidents among teenagers: 

  • Inexperience: When compared to older drivers, teens are more likely to downplay dangerous situations.
  • Nighttime and weekend driving: Figures from 2018 show that 52% of motor vehicle crash deaths involving teenagers took place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Out of these accidents, 37% happened between 9 pm and 6 am.
  • Additional factors: Experts often identify other factors, including speeding, alcohol use, distracted driving, and failure to obey traffic laws.

Accidents by time

Perhaps due to changing visibility, fatigue, and other such factors, certain times of the day are peak periods when crashes are more likely to happen.

For instance, in 2018, Saturdays were the week’s peak day for fatal crashes, while Fridays were the peak day of the week for non-fatal crashes. The period between 4 pm and 7:59 pm is the peak time of the day for both fatal and non-fatal car crashes.

Accidents by driver behavior

One of the most critical factors contributing to car accidents is the behavior of the driver.

  • Distracted driving behavior, such as talking on the phone or texting, contributes to about 8.1% of fatal crashes. Distracted driving claims 8 lives per day — approximately 3,500 per year.
  • Drowsy driving (feeling sleepy or falling asleep at the wheel) is also a significant cause of fatal road crashes. The NHTSA estimates 100,000 police-reported crashes and over 1,500 deaths are the results of drowsy driving each year.

Weather-related car accidents

Windshield in the rain

The weather impacts the chances of car accidents happening. For example, about 17% of car crashes occur during the winter. Weather-related car accidents kill more people in a year than large-scale weather disasters. 

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that about 22% of the 6 million crashes in the U.S. every year are weather-related. 

Single and multiple vehicle crashes

Among motorcyclist deaths, around 37% are due to single-vehicle crashes, while multiple-vehicle crashes account for the remaining 63%. However, statistics show that driver death rates in single-vehicle rollover crashes have declined in the last four decades.

Roughly, 85% of fatalities from rollover crashes resulted from single-vehicle crashes. In multiple-vehicle crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck, the passenger vehicles’ occupants are killed around 96% of the time

Lives saved by safety devices

There are several safety measures that reduce the risk of getting badly injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident; for instance, wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle can reduce fatalities by 37% and the risk of injury by 69%.

Seat belts constitute one of the most effective ways of reducing fatalities. For instance, the CDC reports that “among drivers and front-seat passengers, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45%, and cut the risk of serious injury by 50%.” What this shows is that uncomfortable as it could sometimes be, the seat belt does save lives.  

Cost of road accidents

Road accidents do not only lead to a loss of life, but also damage to property. The economic implication of road accidents in the U.S. can be as high as $800 billion a year

The Lancet, a peer-reviewed general medical journal, estimates that the world is set to lose $1.8 trillion to road accidents between 2015 and 2030.

Global car accident statistics

Approximately 3,700 people die every day in road accidents worldwide, making a total of 1.35 million deaths globally in a year. Between 20 and 50 million people every year suffer non-fatal injuries resulting from car accidents.  

At the receiving end of most of these deaths are pedestrians and cyclists, with more than half of all road traffic deaths globally being pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. 

Despite owning only 60% of all the vehicles globally, low- and middle-income countries suffer 93% of the world’s road traffic fatalities. The WHO reports that “road traffic crashes cost most countries 3% of their gross domestic product (GDP).” 

Trends and future forecasts

The world has become reliant on technology for much of its activities, and driving is no exception. A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a multinational professional services network of firms, focuses on trends that are transforming the automotive industry.

One of the trends expected to impact car accidents across the world is the development of transportation that is both “autonomous” and “shared.” This development is projected to reduce the world’s automobile inventory by around 25%, thereby making the roads a little safer for everybody.

Injured in a car accident?

At Darrigo & Diaz, our car accident attorneys are always here to help you. We are intimately familiar with local and state court systems and know what it takes to win your case. If you have been injured in a car crash, let us fight for your right to compensation. 

Call us today at (813) 734-7397 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.


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