According to the National Safety Council, the chances of dying in a car crash are 1 in 93. Typical causes of fatalities in motor vehicle accidents include severe damage to vital organs such as the brain or heart.
While the odds of dying in a car crash may appear low, car accidents are a major problem worldwide. In 2017, car accidents were ranked the 13th leading cause of death.
However, deaths by car accidents are largely preventable. Our full guide will help you to drive safer and reduce your chances of becoming a statistic.
Keep reading to find out more.
How Many Fatal Car Accidents Happen Each Year?
Road traffic injuries are a leading cause of death worldwide. An estimated 1.35 million people die annually as a result of road traffic crashes around the world. In the U.S. alone, 42,795 people died in car accidents in 2022 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
|Car Accident Death Rates by Year|
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Car accidents and car crash fatalities in the U.S. are on the rise. Compared to 2019, fatality rates in 2021 rose by 18 percent and reached their highest level in 16 years. Despite advancements in vehicle safety technology, human factors contribute significantly to the upsurge in road accidents.
How does California’s Car Accident Fatality Rate Compare to Other States?
California rates fairly highly as one of the safer states to drive in. However, the risk of getting into a car accident increases significantly when driving in high-traffic areas.
Although California had the second highest fatalities in 2021 and 2022, the fatality rate in the state was lower than and the same as the national total in 2021 and 2022 respectively. While driving in California comes with some degree of risk, the state is not necessarily more dangerous than the average state.
What Factors Impact Your Chances of Dying in a Car Crash?
Every time you hit the road, there is an inherent danger involved. The chances of dying in a car crash depend on several factors such as:
The age of a driver will oftentimes affect driving behavior, a significant factor in the likelihood of dying in a car crash. Generally, younger drivers lack experience and may be immature. Compared to their older counterparts, they are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Every year, men are involved in more fatal car accidents than women. In fact, men are three times more likely to die in car accidents than women. Although the reason for this is not entirely clear, it can be attributed to the types of vehicles men tend to drive, aggression on the road, and risk-taking behavior.
Compared with their more affluent counterparts, people of lower socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to be involved in fatal car crashes. This could be due to issues such as fewer people buckling up, poor infrastructure, and less access to trauma centers.
Seat Belt Usage
In the event of an accident, seat belts can protect you against head injuries and other trauma and prevent you from ejecting from the vehicle.
Driving while Intoxicated
Driving drunk or under the influence of drugs increases your risk of dying in an accident. Alcohol and drugs impairs vision, your ability to concentrate, and make responsible decisions. In 2020, motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers accounted for 30 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S.
Poor driving habits, such as speeding, aggressive driving, and bad communication, can easily lead to car accidents. Similarly, distracted driving disrupts your reaction time. Activities like talking on the phone, texting, adjusting the radio, eating, or drinking while driving may take your attention away, compromising your safety.
Reducing Your Odds of Dying in a Car Crash
While you cannot avoid every crash, observing safety measures will reduce your odds of dying in a car crash.
Below are some actions you should take to keep yourself safe:
- Keeping your car maintained: Stay on top of your car’s maintenance needs to ensure it stays in tip-top shape.
- Avoid driving while fatigued: Before embarking on a journey, be sure to get enough rest the night before. Take regular breaks, share the driving if you can, and stop and rest when you’re tired..
- Follow traffic laws and speed limits: Obey traffic rules and speed limits to mitigate risks on the road.
- Other safety tips: Use your headlights, check your mirrors regularly, and keep a safe following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Lastly, learn about the safety features of your car.
Which Vehicles are the Most Dangerous?
In addition to the factors above, the type of vehicle involved is also a significant factor in determining the likelihood of death in a crash. Before buying or renting a car, think about vehicle safety.
Car models that are involved in the most fatal accidents include the Chevrolet Silverado, the Ford F-150 and the Honda Accord. Here’s a detailed breakdown of cars associated with the most fatal auto accidents according to 2022 research by Title Max.
|Car Models Associated With the Most Fatal Accidents, Ranked|
|Car Type||Fatal Accidents (2016 – 2020)|
|1. Chevrolet Silverado||8,777|
|2. Ford F-150||7,502|
|3. Honda Accord||5,368|
|4. Toyota Camry||5,023|
|5. Dodge Ram||4,666|
|6. Honda Civic||4,648|
|7. Nissan Altima||3,746|
|8. Toyota Corolla||3,641|
|9. GMC Sierra||3,567|
|10. Ford Explorer||3,139|
What are the Odds of Being Injured in a Car Accident?
According to the NHTSA, there were over five million police-reported car accidents in the U.S. in 2020. About 43 percent of these car accidents resulted in injuries, with over two million injuries reported in 2020.
Generally, the number of injuries sustained from car accidents fluctuates from year to year. However, your odds of being injured in a car accident will depend on your age, where you live, the number of miles you travel by car, and the type of vehicle in which you travel.
What to do if You Lost a Loved One in a Car Crash
Losing a loved one is often emotionally devastating. It is even more tragic when the death happens in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence.
That said, California is a fault state for car accidents. This means that the person responsible for the car crash has to pay for resulting injuries and losses.
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, a lawyer can help you receive compensation. Your lawyer will gather the relevant evidence, ensure your claim is filed in good time and offer competent legal representation. This will increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you need to help move on with your life. Contact our team for a free consultation today.