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Car Accident Statistics

car accident

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 Pennsylvania Auto Accident Statistics

  • In 2012, there were 124,092 auto accidents reported in Pennsylvania.
  • Approximately 87,846 people were injured in Pennsylvania accidents in 2012. Over 1,300 (1,310) people were killed, which is the third lowest number of deaths over the past 68 years but was an increase from 2011.
  • One out of 44 people were involved in a car accident in 2012.
  • One out of 9,743 people were killed in a car accident in 2012.
  • One out of 147 people were injured in a car accident in 2012.
  • There were 168 pedestrians killed and 4,548 injured in car accidents in 2012. Both were an increase from 2011. There were a total of 4,538 crashes involving pedestrians.
  • There were 210 motorcyclists killed and 3,919 injured in motorcycle accidents in 2012. Both were an increase from 2011.
  • There were 16 bicyclist deaths and 1,377 injured in accidents in 2012 -- both were an increase from 2011.
  • There were 159 deaths in truck accidents.
  • Traffic collisions cost every man, woman, and child in Pennsylvania was $1,164 in 2012.
  • Head-on crashes (4,315) caused 129 deaths in 2012.
  • There were 7,033 crashes in 2012 that involved one vehicle sideswiping another.
  • Drivers ages 21-25 represented the largest number of people involved in accidents. Drivers ages 16-20 had the second-largest number.
  • Ice and ice patches contributed to 2,684 crashes and 17 deaths in Pennsylvania in 2012.
  • Brake-related defects contributed to 847 crashes in 2012.
  • There were 1,661 accidents in work-zones in Pennsylvania in 2012 -- 21 were killed (including 3 workers) and 1,124 were injured.
  • The most crashes occurred in December (12,3289), but the most fatal collisions occurred in June (131 deaths).
  • More crashes occurred on Friday than any other day of the week (20,313), but the most fatal crashes occurred on Saturday (237 deaths).
  • The highest number of crashes occurred between 3 and 5 p.m. The most fatal crashes occurred at 3 p.m.
  • Drinking drivers contributed to 10,941 crashes, including 217 fatal crashes in Pennsylvania in 2012.
  • Drowsy drivers contributed to 2,673 crashes, including 24 fatal crashes.
  • Distracted drivers were the second most common factor that contributed to accidents. Speed was the most common factor.
  • There were 404 alcohol-related deaths, which is a decrease from 2011.
  • Alcohol-related crashes increased to 11,956 in 2012.
  • Approximately 18% of the driver deaths in people ages 16-20 were drinking drivers.
  • Of drivers ages 21-25 killed in accidents, 40% were drinking drivers.
  • In 2012, alcohol-related deaths decreased from 428 to 404 in 2012.
  • Three-fourths of the drinking drivers in traffic crashes were males.
  • Each day on average, there were 33 alcohol-related crashes. About 24 people were injured every day in 2012 in accidents in Pennsylvania.
  • Alcohol-related accidents represented 31% of all traffic collisions.
  • Over half of the fatal accidents that involved alcohol (52%) occurred on Saturday and Sunday.
  • There were 954 crashes involving underage drinking drivers in 2012.
  • Of the total traffic collision deaths, 56.4% involved passengers or drivers who weren't wearing seat belts.
  • The counties with the most reported traffic crashes in 2012 were: Allegheny (9.8%), Philadelphia (9.1%), Montgomery (6.8%), Bucks (4.8%), Lancaster (4.2%), Berks (3.8%), Lehigh (3.7%), Delaware (3.7%), York (3.6%), and Chester (3.5%).
  • The counties with the most traffic-related deaths in 2012 were: Philadelphia (8.2%), Allegheny (5.1%), Bucks (5.0%), Westmoreland (4.2%), Berks (3.8%), Lancaster (3.6%), Montgomery (3.4%), Lehigh (3.2%), Luzerne (2.7%), and Schuylkill (2.5%).

2012 National Auto Accident Statistics

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 34,080 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2012, based on a statistical projection. If this prediction holds true, it will mean a 5.3 percent increase in fatalities as well as the first increase in traffic fatalities since 2005.
  • Actual fatality statistics and contributing factors will be released in the NHTSA’s annual report, which is expected in the fall of 2013.

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.

2011 Pennsylvania Auto Accident Statistics

  • 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.

2011 National Auto Accident Statistics

  • Of the estimated 5,338,000 police-reported traffic accidents, there were 32,367 traffic-related fatalities, which is a 2 percent decrease from 2010.
  • There were an estimated 2,217,000 traffic-related injuries, which is a 1 percent decrease from 2010.
  • On average, 89 people died each day in motor vehicle accidents, which is approximately one person every 16 minutes.
  • Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for age 4 and every age 11 through 27.
  • 4 percent of all traffic fatalities were ages 14 and under.
  • Seat belts saved the lives of 11,949 people.
  • If all occupants under the age of 5 would have worn seat belts, an additional 3,384 lives would have been saved.
  • 29 percent of those killed in car accidents were not wearing seat belts.
  • Speed was a factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes.
  • Young male drivers were the most likely to cause fatal accidents involving speed.
  • 42 percent of speeding fatalities also involved alcohol.
  • 31 percent of all traffic accidents involved alcohol.
  • There were 9,878 drunk driving fatalities, which is approximately one fatality every 53 minutes. This is a 2.5 percent decrease from 2010.
  • Approximately 1 out of every 173 licensed drivers was arrested for a DUI.
  • Young drivers (ages 15-20) accounted for 10 percent of all fatal traffic accidents with 4,247 fatalities.
  • 32 percent of the 4,347 young drivers were intoxicated.
  • The Insurance Research Council estimated that 13.8 percent of motorists did not have car insurance policies—about one in seven drivers.

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.

2010 National Auto Accident Statistics

  • 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.

2010 Pennsylvania Auto Accident Statistics

  • 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.

2009 National Car Accident Statistics

  • 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).

2009 Pennsylvania Auto Accident Statistics

  • 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 National Auto 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 National Auto Accident 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.

"2010 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. December 2011.
"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.
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