How Common Are Car Accidents?


When you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, you want to be as safe as possible. You want to protect yourself, your passengers, and others on the road. 

Still, no matter how careful you are, it’s not always possible to prevent wrecks, as you can’t control the actions of others.

Just the thought of being in a vehicle collision is terrifying. Still, you might have questions about how often these accidents happen. While some things can be scary, they can become overblown in your head. 

For example, many people are scared of flying in airplanes, but the likelihood of a plane crash is very low. But is this true for car accidents as well? 

If you’re wondering how likely you are to get in a car accident, this article is for you.

The Basics Of Car Accident Statistics

When looking at car crash numbers, there are many ways to parse the data. In fact, various tactics and studies look at different types of car accidents and their causes. So, remember that no data set is perfect. 

At the most basic level, the death rate per 10,000 vehicles on the road was 1.66. This data comes from the year 2021. Unfortunately, 2021 saw an increase in car accident deaths from 2020, where the rate increased from 8.5% to 2.7%. 

What Kind of Car Accidents Are Most Common?

While it’s possible to look at various kinds of data related to the types of vehicles that are involved in serious or deadly crashes, the most dangerous type of vehicle accident shouldn’t come as a surprise. Sure, getting into an accident with a large truck is much more likely to be severe, but it’s alcohol-related crashes that account for the majority of fatalities across the country.

In 2021, an estimated 59% of all fatal car wrecks were caused by alcohol. However, with any statistics, it’s important to remember that the data isn’t comprehensive. Instead, it just gives an overview and estimate. 

Another interesting fact is that single-vehicle accidents are much more likely to result in deaths than multiple-vehicle accidents. 

Vehicle Collisions By State

Looking at nationwide data on car accidents is interesting, but you’ll get even more in-depth data if you compare statistics from state to state. 

When comparing these data sets, two states are potentially the most deadly. Researchers looked at fatality rates of car wrecks based on two factors. The first assesses the fatality rate for 100,000 people. The second measured fatality rates based on 100 million miles traveled. 

Rhode Island has the fewest deaths per person with 5.7, while Mississippi had the most at 26.2. Massachusetts had the fewest fatalities per mile traveled, with .71, while South Carolina had the highest at 2.08. 

Tips for Driving Safely

While you may be unable to prevent an accident one hundred percent of the time, you can keep yourself and others safe by practicing defensive driving strategies and following the rules of the road. 

You should also pay attention to road conditions. If the weather is terrible or traffic is heavy, drive more cautiously and leave more room between you and others. It’s also important to try and stay away from drivers that seem erratic. You should also call the authorities if you notice any dangerous behavior from others on the road.

So, while car accidents are relatively common, fatalities are less likely when people drive safely and don’t drive under the influence. 


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