Image of cars on road in traffic. | 1800THELAW2

How Many Car Accidents Per Year Occur in the U.S.?

Tarun Sridharan Legal Editor & Attorney Contributor Read Time: 7 minutes

How Many Car Accidents Per Year Occur in the U.S.?


From fender benders to high-speed crashes, car accidents are all too common in the US. But how often does a car crash occur, and what are your chances of being in a collision? Below, we look at some key car accident statistics and offer tips to help you stay safe on US roads.

Number of Car Accidents Per Year

There are over 2 million car accidents a year in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Roughly 42,915 people died in a fatal car crash in the US in 2021. 
  • Speeding accounts for more than 30 car accidents per day.
  • Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents. The number of drivers using cell phones behind the wheel has increased by 127% between 2012 and 2021.

Auto accidents are a huge problem on US roads. Call our car accident lawyers today if you’ve been injured in a road crash.

Fatal Car Accident Statistics 

A fatal car accident results in the death of 1 or more individuals. For Americans aged between 1 and 54, car accidents are a leading cause of death, according to the CDC. 

  • 1 in 10 fatal accidents are caused by distracted driving.
  • 60% of car accident deaths are single-vehicle accidents. 
  • Pedestrian and cyclist deaths are on the rise.

Calculations suggest that a fatal car accident occurs every 15 minutes in the US. This is a disturbing statistic – and it shows no signs of slowing down. 

Causes of Car Accidents 

While technical and legislative changes have been addressed to reduce fatal accident rates, many car accidents are due to driver impairment or behavior. Alongside distracted driving, other common causes of car accidents are:

  • Driving tired or drowsy
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Speeding

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 29 deaths every day in the U.S. that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. 

Consequences of Car Accidents 

Car accidents can have serious consequences. 

  • There are usually collisions in a motor vehicle crash. Meaning, there’s normally an impact which can cause anything from muscle strains to spinal cord damage.
  • At high speed, or in collisions involving motorbikes and heavy vehicles, the likelihood of serious injury increases. 
  • If vulnerable road users such as cyclists or pedestrians are involved, there’s an increased risk of death or catastrophic injury.
  • Even minor fender-benders can leave you with bruises and feeling pretty shaken up. 

With over 200 million drivers on the road, the unimaginable can happen in a split second. Drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians are at risk of fatal injuries at every moment. Therefore, it is important to understand the rules of the road and how to handle various situations to avoid crash deaths and car accidents. 

Safe Driving Tips

Alarmed by these car accident statistics? Take steps to protect yourself – follow these safe driving tips. 

  • Always wear your seatbelt.  Get in the habit of buckling up as soon as you enter the vehicle.
  • Obey all speed limits and signs.
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These days, there are great options when it comes to getting a ride. Whether you order an Uber or Lyft ride share, call a local car service or taxi, or ask a friend to give you a ride, there are various options. Getting on the road if you are impaired can have a negative impact on your life, and the lives of others, for years to come. 
  • Keep your eyes moving. Get used to being aware of what is happening on all sides of the road. Also, check your rear view mirror regularly.
  • Know that other drivers will make mistakes and drive irresponsibly. It is important for you to be alert and ready to react in a manner that keeps everyone on the road safe. While you may be angry with the other drivers or pedestrians, causing an accident on purpose will result in bigger problems.
  • When approached by an emergency vehicle, pull over to the right of the road and stop.
  • When driving on multi-lane roads or highways, know that the left-most lanes are for passing only. If you do not intend to pass a vehicle, stay in the right lanes.

Car Safety Check

How many car crashes a year could be prevented by performing a car safety check? While it’s impossible to say for sure, one thing is certain: a car inspection can go some way to keeping you safer on the road. 

Before driving a vehicle, and especially in bad weather conditions, do this simple car safety check.

  • Turn on the lights and walk around the vehicle to ensure all lights are working properly.
  • Make sure your turn signal indicators, or blinkers, are working.
  • Check that there is no sign of fluid leaks or things hanging from the vehicle.
  • Don’t forget your tires. If they look flat, stop by a gas station or repair shop for air before driving long distances.

Next, adjust mirrors before you get on the road. To adjust the left mirror, place your head against the left window and adjust the mirror so that you can just see the left side of the car. 

For the right side, move your head towards the center of the car and adjust the mirror the same way. This will help reduce your blind spots.

What to Do After a Car Crash

You can reduce your chances of being in a car accident once a year or more. However, no matter how careful you are, accidents still happen. Here’s what to do if you have a motor vehicle crash in the US.

  • Call 911 immediately if someone is in physical danger or seriously hurt. 
  • Move to safety. Call the police if there are injuries or significant car damage. 
  • Exchange details with the other parties involved.
  • If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information. 
  • If safe to do so, take photos of the crash scene, including the road itself. This helps to build a clearer picture of what happened. 
  • Get medical attention to assess your injuries.
  • Call a car accident lawyer to proceed with a legal claim. 

Car Accident Lawyer Free Consultation in the US 

The number of car crashes per year in the US makes for alarming reading. Just know that if you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to damages under the law.

At 1-800-THE-LAW2, we maintain a network of experienced car accident lawyers who are standing by to provide a free consultation. Our agents will connect you to an attorney who will guide you through the litigation process after evaluating your case.

If you’re hurt in a road accident, you’re not alone. Contact us today at 877-461-6181

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can assist you no matter when your accident occurs.

Call 877-322-1161 Schedule A Consultation
Minimize Chat End Chat