Car Accident Statistics
Please note that most 2012 national and Pennsylvania car accident statistics have not yet been released. Check back frequently for updated stats and facts on for all types of car accidents and auto collisions.
2012 Head-On and Wrong-Way Driver Accident Statistics
- According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), wrong-way drivers kill nearly 400 people every year.
- According to the NTSB, 15 percent of wrong-way crashes involve drivers older than 70 years old.
- About 22 percent of wrong-way crashes are fatal, compared with less than 1 percent of all other crashes.
- Drunk drivers cause 60 percent of wrong-way crashes. Nearly 10 percent of those accidents are done by repeat offenders.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Statistics (2011)
- The number of fatal car accidents in Pennsylvania dropped 2.5% in 2011 – from 1,324 to 1,291.
- This drop is the second-lowest number that has been recorded in history, second only to 2009.
- Drunk driving fatalities also decreased. There were 379 fatalities in 2011 — the lowest in over 10 years.
- Motorcycle-accident related fatalities decreased from 223 to 198.
- Fatalities involving drivers who hit trees decreased from 295 in 2010 to 250 in 2011. Deaths resulting from cross-median crashes decreased significantly — from 84 in 2010 to 48 in 2011. Head-on crash fatalities fell to 158 as well.
National Car Accident Statistics (2011)
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 32,310 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2011 — based on a statistical projection. If this number holds true, it will be a decline of about 1.7 percent, and it will be the lowest number of fatalities on record since 1949. The Administration will release actual fatality numbers in its annual report, which will come out in the fall of 2012.
- An earlier report found that approximately 211 teens ages 16 to 17 were killed in the U.S. in motor vehicle crashes from January-June 2011.
- The Insurance Research Council estimates that 13.8 percent of motorists do not have car insurance policies – about one in seven drivers.
- The states with the highest percentages of uninsured drivers include: Mississippi (28%), New Mexico (26%), Florida (24%), Tennessee (24%), and Oklahoma (24%). Pennsylvania has 7% of drivers who are uninsured.
2011 Distracted Driving Accident Statistics
A recent poll showed frightening statistics about adult drivers and distracted driving behaviors.
Holiday Car Accident Statistics
We’ve compiled several national holiday car accident statistics and Pennsylvania auto accident statistics.
National Car Accident Statistics (2010)
- The number of highway deaths fell to 32,885 in 2010. It’s the lowest number since 1949.
- Drivers traveled nearly 46 billion more miles in 2010.
- Fatalities decreased in most categories, with the exception of pedestrian accidents, motorcycle riders, and those involving large trucks.
- Fatalities in accidents involving drunk drivers dropped 4.9%. Approximately 10,228 people died.
- There were about 3,092 deaths in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2010.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 5% of drivers were seen talking on handheld cell phones.
- The NHTSA found that more than three-quarters of drivers are likely to answer calls on all, most, or some trips while driving. These drivers also admit to rarely considering traffic situations when deciding when to use cell phones.
- Most drivers said they are willing to answer a call or text while driving, but nearly all of these same drivers said they would feel very unsafe if they were a passenger in a car where the driver was sending or receiving text messages.
- Motorcycle deaths increased in 2010 to 4,502.
- Pedestrian deaths also increased to 4,280 in 2010.
- While fatal crashes decreased, the number of crashes involving injuries increased to 1,546,000 – an increase of 1.9%.
- More than half (51%) of those killed in crashes in 2010 weren’t wearing a seat belt.
- Fatalities decreased in rural crashes by 6.7%, and increased in urban crashes by 0.3%.
- Thirty-one states, D.C., and Puerto Rico saw decreases in the number of traffic collision fatalities. Five states saw an increase.
- Pennsylvania was one of the states that saw an increase in fatalities. The number of deaths rose to 1,324 — an increase of more than 5%. Other states with increases in the number of fatalities include Connecticut, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Statistics (2010)
- In 2010, 87,949 people were injured in auto collisions.
- There were 121,312 traffic collisions in Pennsylvania in 2010.
- Deaths in auto accidents on Pennsylvania highways increased in 2010: 1,324 people were killed, which is 68 higher than in 2009.
- Speed-related deaths increased in 2010, jumping from 231 to 284. Aggressive driving-related deaths also increased from 130 to 168. Speed-related crashes were listed as the most common contributing factor in Pennsylvania accidents. Second was drinking drivers, and fourth was distracted drivers.
- Every day, there were 332 car accidents in the state (on average).
- One person died every seven hours in a car accident in 2010.
- Every day, 241 people were injured in traffic collisions.
- In 2010, one out of ever 44 people was involved in a car accident in Pennsylvania.
- Four people were killed every day in Pennsylvania traffic accidents in 2010.
- Of those who were injured in car accidents, 3,555 suffered major injuries.
- There were 3,163 crashes where the vehicle hit a deer.
- The highest number of crashes occurred in December (12,071). However, the highest number of deaths occurred in July (141).
- The highest number of accidents occurred on Fridays (20,739), while the highest number of deaths occurred on Saturdays (239).
- The highest number of collisions occurred between 3:00pm and 3:59pm (9,155). The highest number of deaths occurred between 4:00pm and 4:59pm.
- In 2010, crashes involving alcohol decreased to 12,426, but alcohol-related deaths increased to 459.
- Thirty-one percent (31%) of fatalities in the 16-20 age group were drinking drivers.
- Half (50%) of driver deaths in the 21-25 age group were drinking drivers. This was an increase from 2009 (44%).
- On average, 34 alcohol-related crashes occurred in Pennsylvania every day.
- The approximate economic loss from traffic crashes in 2010 for Pennsylvania was $14,500,284,495.
- The majority of car accidents involved hitting a fixed object. More than 550 (553) people died in these types of crashes.
- There were no deaths in school bus crashes in 2010
- Male drivers were in more accidents than female drivers for every age group.
- The 21-25 age group had the most accidents at 28,524.
- Fifty-two people died in accidents involving snow, sleet, and freezing rain.
- In 2010, 915 crashes involved tire- or wheel-related vehicle defects.
- Of the fatalities that occurred in 2010 in Pennsylvania, 58.2% weren’t wearing seat belts.
- The counties with the most reported traffic crashes were: Allegheny (9.3%), Philadelphia (9.0%), Montgomery (6.8%), Bucks (5.0%), Lancaster (4.2%), York (3.7%), Berks (3.8%), Lehigh (3.7%), Delaware (3.6%), and Chester (3.5%). Philadelphia had the most traffic-related deaths.
National Car Accident Statistics (2009)
- There were more than 5.5 million car accidents in the United States. Nearly 31,000 were fatal, and more than 2 million people were injured.
- The majority of fatal crashes involved only one vehicle (61 percent).
- Nearly half of all fatal crashes occurred on roads with posted speed limits of 55 mph or higher.
- The deadliest month for car crashes was August. More than 2,864 fatal crashes occurred in 2009.
- Most crashes happened between 5 and 5:59 p.m. on weekdays, and between 2 and 2:59 a.m. on weekends.
- Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for children and teenagers.
- At any given moment, 812,000 vehicles were being driven by someone using a handheld cell phone in the U.S.
- An average of four children ages 14 and under were killed every day in auto accidents. Nearly 500 were injured daily.
- While statistics continue to improve, 32 percent of fatal accidents involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
- About 31 percent of fatalities were caused by speeding (10,591).
Pennsylvania Car Accident Statistics (2009)
- There were 121,242 reported accidents in Pennsylvania in 2009. Of those crashes, 1,256 deaths and 87,126 injuries were recorded. This is the lowest number since 1951.
- The economic loss due to auto collisions in 2009 was $1,086 to every man, woman, and child in the state.
- Every day in PA there were 332 reportable traffic crashes, or about 14 every hour.
- Someone died every seven hours in 2009 in PA in a car accident.
- Drivers ages 16 to 25 made up nearly 30 percent of all PA accidents.
- Three-quarters of crashes occurred within 25 miles of home.
- Allegheny County had the highest number of reported traffic crashes of all the counties in the state.
- More crashes occurred in December than all the other months.
- More than 16,500 crashes took place around the holidays. Most occurred between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- One out of every 44 people was involved in an accident in Pennsylvania.
- Anywhere from 85 to 90 percent of traffic crashes involved some sort of driver error.
- More than 32,000 speed-related crashes occurred in Pennsylvania in 2009.
2008 Car Accident Statistics
- In 2008, the number of overall traffic fatalities reached a record low since 1961, and that number continued to decrease in the first few months of 2009.
- The number of car crash deaths in 2008, 37,261, dropped 9.7% from the number of deaths in 2007; this is the largest annual reduction since 1982.
- The 2008 passenger car occupant fatalities have decreased for the sixth year in a row, accounting for 25,351 deaths. This is the lowest number since 1975 when the NHTSA began collecting fatality crash data.
- Motor vehicle traffic crashes injured about 2.35 million people in 2008, which is the lowest number the NHTSA has seen since it began collecting injury data in 1988.
- In 2008, there were a total of over 5.8 million car crashes, 1,630,000 causing injury, 4,146,000 resulting in property-damage only, and 34,017 ending in death.
- There were 15,983 urban crash fatalities in 2008, decreasing 11% from 2007.
- Car accident deaths in rural crashes totaled 20,905, a 10% decrease from 2007.
2007 Car Crash Statistics
- 41,059 people were killed in car accidents in 2007, an almost 4% decrease from 42,708 people in 2006.
- The highest number of deaths from car accidents occurred in July and the fewest in February.
- 17,725 fatalities occurred over the weekend and 23,237 during the weekday in 2007.
- In 2007, the highest number of fatalities, 6,796, occurred in the 25-34 age range while the lowest number, 470, occurred in the 5-9 range.
- 13,040 deaths in were linked to speeding.
- In 2007, 8,657 deaths occurred in intersections.
- About 23,482 deadly crashes involved a single vehicle while 17,577 involved multiple vehicles in 2007.
- Instances where the vehicle in a crash veered off the road led to 24,147 fatalities in 2007.
- Non-fatal car accidents totaled 5,987,000 in 2007.
- In 2007, individuals were injured in about 1,711,000 accidents, while around 4,275,000 crashes only caused property damage.
- Car accidents disabled 270,000 people in 2007.
Looking for more statistics? View our accident statistics page.
"Driver Electronic Use in 2010." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. December 2011. "Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities for the First Three Quarters of 2011." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. February 2012. "Deaths From Traffic Accidents Drop 2.5 Percent in State." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 16, 2012.
"NTSB Advocates Brakes on Wrong-Way Driving." ABCNews. Dec. 12, 2012.