Fatal Car Accident Statistics

Fatal motor vehicle accidents occur every day on American roadways. This is most apparent when examining fatal accident statistics.

Causes of Fatal Accidents

Many single-vehicle accidents occur that injure just the driver. However, many motor vehicle accidents involve two or more vehicles, often causing injuries and fatalities to drivers and other occupants of the vehicle. Some accidents lead to immediate fatalities while others ultimately result in fatalities, such as when an occupant suffers a traumatic head injury that leads to a coma and eventual decision by the family to end life-sustaining treatment.

Living in big cities requires driving through densely populated areas and areas with traffic congestion. When drivers are not careful of traffic or keep a lookout for possible dangers, serious collisions can occur. The driver or the passengers may lose their lives. Negligence leads to many traffic incidences and litigation.

Internal and external distractions are leading causes in motor vehicle collisions. Sudden noise, the glow of a cellphone, objects falling and the irritation of ill placed seatbelts may all contribute to fatal accidents. Speeding is a leading factor in many fatal vehicle accidents. The faster vehicles are going, the deadlier a crash can become. Inclement weather can also contribute to these accidents by affecting visibility and making the roads slick.

Statistics Overview

Accidents are caused by specific factors. These factors add up to fatal mistakes. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 30,797 people lost their lives in fatal motor vehicle accidents. This number has increased in recent years with a reported death of 32,675 people losing their lives in motor vehicle accidents in the year 2014. Distracted driving continues to be a leading cause involved in motor vehicle accidents, most noticeably affecting the 15 to 20-year-old age bracket. Many fatalities occur between 6 and 9 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. It is statistically more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident on the weekend. During the workweek, the most fatal accidents occur right around rush hour between 5 and 6 p.m.

Speeding is also a leading cause of death in traffic accidents. Alcohol and drug impairment continue to be major concerns in this arena with many crashes involving youth also involving these factors, as well as other factors such as speeding and distracted driving. Drunk driving and distracted driving both affect a person’s reaction time.


The United States Department of Transportation estimates that crashes in 2014 resulted in a loss of $242 billion. The costs of accidents includes the actual property damage, ranging from slight body damage to completely totaled vehicles. Medical bills through insurance and emergency professional assistance also add to this cost to ensure lives aren’t lost. The loss of productivity by workers and the loss of income to families when fatalities occur increase these numbers as well.


When attempting to prevent accidents on the road, it is best to use caution. Distractions lead to mishaps which may end life. Minimize these distractions. When driving through traffic, it is worthwhile to put the phone away, be aware of street signs, reduce noise inside the car and avoid looking at others in the vehicle.

Reducing negligent traffic incidences starts with preparation before leaving on the trip. Ensuring seatbelts are fastened, all entanglements to the limbs are removed or put away, noise levels of passengers are permissible and the vehicle is in working order all safeguard the protection of precious life inside and outside the automobile.

Other Factors to Consider

Though distractions and negligence are primary causes of fatalities, drinking and driving, use of narcotics and criminal behavior are other contributing factors of fatal motor vehicle accidents. Drunk drivers usually swerve through both lanes and cause collisions injuring both others and themselves. The best way to avoid this is to make certain that the driver does not drink or during his or her operation of a vehicle. Illegal substances and prescription medications have different effects on different people, but consuming such products can cause accidents when they affect judgment, cause hallucinations or make the driver drowsy. To avoid fatalities, drivers should abstain from these substances.

Seek Legal Representation

Individuals who are injured by a negligent driver may wish to seek legal representation. Causing a traffic accident can result in criminal responsibility and civil liability. A lawyer can provide advice to injured victims and help gather information that will help in filing a claim against the negligent party. He or she can also help with negotiations and pursuing a lawsuit if necessary.

Provided by HG.org

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws and.how they may affect a case.

Find a Lawyer