Statistics on how many road accidents there were in the US last year

2 min


The US is one of the busiest countries in terms of road traffic. There are more than 280 million vehicles in operation and more than 227 million drivers with a license. With such busy traffic, the US traffic fatality rate is 12.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. And more than 4.4 million people got injured seriously enough.

In the US, more than 38,000 people die every year in crashes on the roadways. In 2018, the last year we have statistics for, there were more than 20,000 passenger cars involved in crashes. That is why you should perform a check before purchase process for used cars.

You can unlock the full history of car history, mileage, check whether the car got stolen, and examine the vehicle down to the DNA level.

With that in mind, we will look at some statistics on road accidents in the US. This will give you a better understanding of the problem. We have to mention that the number of crash deaths and motor vehicle crashes differs among the 50 states. Logically, the population of the state has a huge effect on the number of motor vehicle deaths and crashes. But let’s take a look.

Fatal Crash Totals

In 2018, there were a total of 33,654 motor vehicle crashes. In them, more than 36,500 people lost their life. The result is 11.2 deaths per 100,000 people and 1.13 deaths per 100 million miles traveled.

As mentioned before, the number differs between states. For example, Mississippi had the highest mortality rate of 22.2 deaths per 100,000 people. Alabama with 19.5, New Mexico with 18.7, South Carolina with 20.4, and Wyoming with 19.2, also had high numbers.

South Carolina had the highest number of deaths per 100 million miles traveled with 1.83.

Deaths by Road User

Types of motor vehicle crash deaths varied across states. For example, in Wyoming, the highest percentage of deaths involved SUV and pickup occupants at 49%. On the flip side, Vermont had the highest percentage of deaths involving car occupants at 49%.

Hawaii reported a low percentage of car, pickup, and SUV occupants, but a high percentage of motorcyclist deaths at 29%. Hawaii also had the highest percentage of pedestrian deaths at 36%.

Florida with 42% and California with 38%, reported the highest percentage of large truck occupants. Texas reported 69 deaths by bicyclists, but that accounted for only 2% of total deaths. On the other side, the District of Columbia had the highest percentage of crash deaths involving bicyclists, 10%, but that only translates to three total deaths. Florida, on the other hand, reported 160 deaths by bicyclists.

Crash Types

Speaking of crash types, 53% of motor vehicle crash deaths occurred in single-vehicle crashes. Out of all states, Montana had the highest percentage of single-vehicle crashes with 71%. Nebraska, on the other hand, had the highest percentage of deaths in multiple-vehicle crashes at 57%.

Alcohol involvement

The blood alcohol concentration played a role for only a small percentage of passenger vehicle drivers. The BAC information delivers the most precise results in states where the information gets reported.

Nationwide, BAC got reported for 65% of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers. Reporting rates differ from 100% in the District of Columbia, down to 26% in Indiana.

Thirty-one states plus the District of Columbia had BAC reporting rates of at least 70%. Among them, Montana had the highest estimated percentage of fatally injured drivers, with a BAC of 0.08% or higher at 45%.

Rural Versus Urban

Where do accidents occur? Do they happen more in rural areas or in urban areas? Well, statistics show that nationwide, 45% of crash deaths occurred in rural areas.

In that regard, South Dakota had the highest percentage of deaths in rural roads at 90%, followed by Vermont at 88% and North Dakota at 87%.

States with a low percentage of deaths in rural areas include New Jersey at 8%, Massachusetts at 10%, and Connecticut at 13%. Fun fact: The District of Columbia had 0 crash deaths in rural areas. But that is because the entire area is coded as an urban area.

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