Car Accident Statistics

There are thousands of car accidents on roadways in the United States every day. The frequency and degree of injury and/or death that results from these car crashes varies. Car crash statistics are usually released approximately one to one-and-a-half years late because of the time it takes to gather, correct, and organize all of the data involved. Be sure to check back for updated statistics as we will try to update them as soon as they are released to the public.

2012 National Car Accident Statistics

  • There were approximately 5,615,000 million police-reported car accidents in the United States in 2012. This was a significant 5% increase from 2011, when there were 5,338,000 total crashes.
  • In Washington state there were 99,560 total collisions in 2012.
  • The number of injury-causing car crashes increased from approximately 1,530,000 in 2011 to 1,634,000 in 2012, while the number of fatal accidents increased from 29,867 to 30,800.
  • More than half (52%) of people killed in car accidents in 2012 were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
  • More people were killed during daytime collisions (10,999) than in nighttime collisions (10,183).
  • The number of people killed in traffic collisions in rural areas decreased from 17,769 in 2011 to 18,170 in 2012. The number of fatal crashes in urban areas, however, increased from 14,575 in 2011 to 15,296 in 2012.

DUI Accident Statistics

The majority of car accidents could be avoided if only the drivers were more responsible. Sadly, alcohol is involved in a significant percentage of fatal traffic accidents in the United States. And with the recent passing of Initiative 502 in Washington State, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana, injuries and fatalities from impaired driving accidents could become an even more important issue in the state.

  • Of the 33,561 fatalities from car crashes in 2012, a total of 10,322 deaths resulted from a collision involving an alcohol-impaired driver. That's just under a third (31%).
  • There were 1,390 motorcyclists killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2012.
  • The number of DUI-related crashes increased 3.3% in 2012.
  • Passenger cars were the most common vehicle type to be involved in a fatal DUI accident, with 4,104 of the total 10,322 deaths in 2012.

Distracted Driving Accidents

Many car accidents are caused by driver distraction, sometimes from people talking to other passengers while driving, and other times due to drivers playing with the radio while driving. Cell phone use killed 10% of those in motor vehicle accidents in 2012, and injured an estimated 421,000. A significant percentage of motor vehicle accidents occurred because the driver was eating or drinking. These car accident statistics are sad enough on their own, the saddest part being that they could have easily been avoided had drivers been paying more attention to driving and less to other activities.

If you or a loved one is the victim of a car accident, it is in your best interest to consult with a personal injury attorney to determine your legal options. If you have costly medical bills and long-term damages as a result of the car crash, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your financial losses and any injuries you may have suffered.

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.