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3 Surprising Car Accident Statistics


Any time we hop into a vehicle and hit the highway, we’re exposing ourselves to some risk.

We forget that driving is incredibly dangerous, and there’s no guarantee for anyone’s safety even if we’re safe drivers. Having an idea of a few car accident statistics, though, can help you understand what might be the cause of a lot of accidents.

When we have an idea of the trends, we can adjust our driving habits to avoid becoming a statistic. We’re going to take a look at three important statistics on car crashes today, giving you some insight into how you can shift your habits to stay safe on the road.

We’ll also explore what to do and who to call if you wind up in a car accident. Let’s get started.

  1. Vehicle Deaths Per Capita Have Dropped

If we look back to 1975, the population in The United States was right around 215,975,000 people.

Since that time, our population has increased by over 100,000,000. We currently sit at around 332,000,000. Interestingly, as the population increases, the number of fatal crashes in the United States hovers right around 35,000 per year.

One would think that an increase in cars and people on the road would bring on additional crashes. Instead, there’s actually a slight decline in the average number of fatal crashes over the period of the last fifty years.

The average number of fatal crashes sat in the upper 30,000s until about 2008 when that number shifted down to right around 31,000, even dipping below 30,000 in 2011.

The death rate per 100,000 people was a little over 20 in 1975. We can expect that rate to be somewhere around 10 in 2021. Those numbers indicate that, in some senses, it’s about twice as safe to drive on the roads as it was in the mid-1970s.

At the same time, the average of fatal accidents per capita in countries like Germany with similarly high average incomes was about half of what it is in The United States. So, while the improvements made have been significant, there’s still a long way to go.

What This Means

The statistics above are encouraging ones. The fact that there are so many more people in the country and on the roads, yet there has been a decline in fatal car crashes is a great thing.

A lot of it might have to do with the improved quality of vehicle safety. Cars are better equipped with safety features and stronger frames that protect passengers. Additionally, many modern cars have additional sensors, cameras, alerts, and other features that help to prevent accidents.

Your chances of getting in an accident, though, are directly dependent on how you drive. Your driving habits play a big part in your safety. With that in mind, the 10 or so deaths per 100,000 might not be likely to include you.

Those deaths either happen to reckless drivers or as a result of reckless drivers. While there’s no way for us to totally protect ourselves from bad drivers, we can do our best to improve our own safety and avoid causing any accidents.

All of this is to say that you’re in a pretty safe position on the roads in 2021 if you’re a careful driver.

  1. Car Brands with The Most Fatal Accidents

You might be curious about which vehicles are involved in the most fatal crashes. While it’s not likely that a specific vehicle is more prone to draw an accident than others, makes and models that are involved with an overwhelming number of fatal accidents might be at fault in some way.

In some instances, an accident with a faulty vehicle might be a good reason to call a car accident attorney. If you’ve been wronged by the poor quality of a vehicle, a car accident attorney is a person who can bring some justice to your situation.

It’s important to have a car accident checklist ready in your vehicle in case you’re in a crash. This can help you be prepared with information if you have to go to court. Your attorney will have an easier time proving negligence in your personal injury claim if you’ve kept good notes.

Negligence in law is difficult to prove, and a favorable outcome in your car accident lawsuit will easier if you mark down as many details as you can. Your information could match up with other cases where the maker’s error resulted in a crash.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the most popular brands of vehicles are going to be at the top of the list. The more of a particular car on the road, the more fatal crashes.

The most popular vehicle makers are Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, and Toyota. Interestingly enough, Toyota comes in as the most popular maker in The United States right now, followed by Honda, Chevrolet, and Ford.

The fatal crashes aren’t distributed in that order, though.

How The Numbers Pan Out

Even though Ford is fourth in popularity, it comes in at the top with fatal crashes. Then comes Chevrolet, Toyota, and Honda.

Not only did Ford and Chevrolet have more fatal crashes than other makers who were more popular, but did so with around 9,000 more than Toyota and Honda.

Ford took up 17% of all fatal crashes, Chevrolet took 16%, Toyota had 10%, and Honda had 9%.

It’s tough to know exactly what causes the numbers to pan out this way. There is a number of reasons that more Fords and Chevys have wound up in fatal crashes than Toyotas and Hondas.

That said, it’s tough to ignore those numbers when they’re so statistically significant. When you’re looking at buying a new car, don’t necessarily steer away from Ford and Chevy just because of the information above.

Every maker offers numerous cars with varying degrees of safety features and protection. There are some Fords that are safer than Hondas, and vice versa.

  1. Factors Contributing to Crash Deaths

One of the unfortunate things about fatal car crashes is that they tend to be caused by one of a few main reasons. They’re safety issues that are often discussed in public forums and everyone knows how to treat these issues, yet people die as a result of them every single day.

Those things are speeding, drunk driving, and failing to wear a seatbelt. These are fundamental safety factors on the road, but it’s difficult to get everyone to respect the rules surrounding drinking, speeding, and seatbelts.

The involvement of cell phones in fatal crashes is very significant as well. You won’t see cell phones listed as the main factor in many reports, though, because a witness has to see that the cell phone is a cause of the accident.

It’s difficult to use evidence to know whether the driver was physically looking at the cell phone, while it’s much easier to find out if they had alcohol in their system, were speeding, or weren’t using their seatbelt.

Rates at Which These Factors Come Into Play

Of roughly 30,000 fatal car crashes, we can expect drunk driving, lack of seatbelt, and speeding to contribute to at least 10,000 crashes, respectively.

In many cases, there is a combination of factors, and all three factors could play a part in a particular fatal accident. That said, these high-risk factors come into play in almost equal measure.

Of course, a fatal crash could come about from two safe drivers who just happen to have a miscommunication or don’t see each other. Situations occur, and it isn’t always the case that there’s something illegal or wrong about the driving of anybody involved.

That fact is what makes it a little scary to hit the roads sometimes. There’s no way to entirely eliminate the risk of a severe accident just yet. As we move closer to the days of self-driving cars and advanced safety systems, we might have a little less to worry about.

Even though there’s no guarantee that you won’t get into a crash, there’s no guarantee that you won’t get struck by lightning, either. You can reduce your odds by avoiding large metal poles in thunderstorms, though.

Similarly, you can avoid drinking and speeding, and make sure to wear your seatbelt. Those factors will improve your level of safety a great deal.

Ways for You to Avoid Accidents

We’re not all statistics. The statistics listed above are the results of decisions that people made and led to fatal crashes.

A lot of those instances are people who made the choice to drink and drive, winding up in an awful situation. We can make smart choices to avoid those outcomes if we want to.

It’s incredibly simple to improve your safety on the road, and it just requires that you shift a few habits that you might already have.

The first one is to just slow down. Don’t tailgate the people in front of you and allow yourself enough time to safely merge and pass other vehicles. You’re not going to get anywhere much faster if you speed and weave throughout traffic.

You might shed five minutes off of your original time. That five minutes increases your risk of a fatal accident a great deal.

The next thing to do is to avoid drinking alcohol before you drive. Sure, you can legally drink up to a BAC of .08, but why even push it? Alcohol affects people differently, and any amount of it will impair your ability to drive a little bit.

Want to Learn More about Car Accident Statistics?

Hopefully, our look at a few important car accident statistics was helpful. You can use that information to adjust how you feel about getting onto the roads and staying safe.

We’re here to help if you want to learn more, though.

Explore our site for more information on vehicles, accidents, statistics, and a whole lot more.

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