How Many People Die in Car Accidents Each Year (2021)

Every year, traffic accidents claim the lives of millions of people around the globe. To fully comprehend the scope and gravity of this issue, it’s important to examine statistics related to car accident deaths at different scales.

In the following sections, we will delve into these numbers, starting with a broad perspective by looking at worldwide figures. Then, we’ll narrow our focus to the United States, a country suffering from a significant share of these fatalities. Finally, we’ll zero in on one particular state, Texas, to provide a detailed look at how these tragic incidents impact local communities.

How Many People Die From Car Accidents Each Year Worldwide?

To comprehend the global impact of car accident deaths, it’s vital to look at the statistics worldwide. These figures reflect not only the individual tragedies of those who lost their lives, but also the broader implications for public health and safety.

In this section, we will explore the annual global mortality rate due to car accidents, noting variations and trends. By understanding these numbers, we can appreciate the urgency of implementing effective road safety measures across all nations.

According to the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2021 by the World Health Organization:

  • Over 1.3 million people die in road traffic crashes every year (nearly 3,700 daily), making it the 12th leading cause of death worldwide. However, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years.
  • More than half (54%) of road traffic deaths occur among vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Among motor vehicle occupants, car occupants make up 29% and light truck occupants another 12%.
  • Nearly one-third of all fatalities involve occupants of four-wheeled vehicles. Users of vehicles that can carry over ten individuals, heavy goods vehicles, and other types of users collectively contribute to a fifth of all deaths. Micro-mobility transportation vehicles, such as e-scooters, account for 3% of deaths.
  • Despite an increase in population and motorization, the number of deaths has stabilized in the past decade. However, the rate of decrease is not significant enough to meet the Global Goals target of a 50% reduction in the number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2030.
  • Low-income countries have the highest road traffic death rates, at 27.5 per 100,000 population. This is more than three times higher than in high-income countries, which have a death rate of 8.3 per 100,000.
  • The risk of dying in a road traffic crash is more than 3 times higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries. The risk is highest in Africa (26.6 deaths per 100,000 population) and lowest in Europe (9.3 deaths per 100,000 population).
  • Only 40 countries, representing 1 billion people (13% of the world’s population), have laws that meet best practice on all five key risk factors for road safety: speed, drink-driving, helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints.
  • 93% of the world’s fatalities on the roads occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately 60% of the world’s vehicles.

How Many People Die From Car Accidents Each Year in the United States?

To understand the prevalence of car accident deaths within the United States, we turn our attention to domestic data. The United States, despite its advanced infrastructure and strict traffic laws, still faces a concerning number of fatalities resulting from car accidents.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the statistics for car accident deaths in the United States in 2021 are as follows:

State Number of Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents Number of  Deaths in Motor Vehicle Accidents Deaths per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled
Alabama 885 983 1.24
Alaska 59 67 1.16
Arizona 1,063 1,180 1.60
Arkansas 631 693 1.80
California 3,983 4,285 1.38
Colorado 638 691 1.28
Connecticut 283 298 1.03
Delaware 132 136 1.34
District of Columbia 40 41 1.26
Florida 3,451 3,738 1.72
Georgia 1,670 1,797 1.49
Hawaii 94 94 0.94
Idaho 244 271 1.40
Illinois 1,210 1,334 1.37
Indiana 863 932 1.19
Iowa 329 356 1.08
Kansas 381 424 1.34
Kentucky 734 806 1.68
Louisiana 887 972 1.78
Maine 135 153 1.05
Maryland 522 561 0.99
Massachusetts 397 417 0.71
Michigan 1,072 1,136 1.17
Minnesota 451 488 0.85
Mississippi 697 772 1.89
Missouri 931 1,016 1.27
Montana 222 239 1.77
Nebraska 192 221 1.04
Nevada 360 385 1.42
New Hampshire 106 118 0.90
New Jersey 669 699 0.95
New Mexico 427 481 1.79
New York 1,099 1,157 1.08
North Carolina 1,535 1,663 1.41
North Dakota 85 101 1.09
Ohio 1,242 1,354 1.20
Oklahoma 681 762 1.70
Oregon 552 599 1.63
Pennsylvania 1,153 1,230 1.20
Rhode Island 61 63 0.84
South Carolina 1,112 1,198 2.08
South Dakota 131 148 1.48
Tennessee 1,229 1,327 1.61
Texas 4,068 4,498 1.58
Utah 293 328 0.98
Vermont 69 74 1.12
Virginia 906 973 1.21
Washington 603 670 1.16
West Virginia 257 280 1.74
Wisconsin 572 620 0.95
Wyoming 102 110 0.99
U.S. Totals 39,508 42,939 1.37


Car Accident Deaths (per 100mm miles traveled)

When analyzing the rates of car accident deaths across different states, we can identify both the states with the highest and lowest rates. According to data from the IIHS, the following states stood out in 2021:

States with the Highest Rate of Car Accident Deaths (per 100 million vehicle miles traveled)

  1. South Carolina – 2.08
  2. Mississippi – 1.89
  3. Arkansas – 1.80
  4. New Mexico – 1.79
  5. Louisiana – 1.78

States with the Lowest Rate of Car Accident Deaths (per 100 million vehicle miles traveled)

  1. Massachusetts – 0.71
  2. Rhode Island – 0.84
  3. Minnesota – 0.85
  4. New Hampshire – 0.90
  5. Hawaii – 0.94

These figures underline the importance of ongoing efforts to enhance road safety and reduce fatalities across the nation. Each state’s unique circumstances necessitate tailored approaches to traffic safety, emphasizing the need for comprehensive, data-driven strategies to reduce the number of car accident deaths.

How Many People Die From Car Accidents Each Year in Texas?

Delving deeper into the issue of car accident deaths, we shift our focus to the state of Texas. Despite concerted efforts towards improving road safety, Texas unfortunately continues to see a high number of fatalities resulting from car accidents year after year.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) 2021 Crash Data, the following statistics were observed:

  • There were a total of 3,896 deaths from motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2021. This is an increase from the 3,723 deaths recorded in 2020.
  • The death rate on Texas roadways for 2021 was 1.26 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled, an increase from the 2020 rate of 1.22.
  • The majority of these fatal crashes occurred in rural areas of the state, accounting for 53.45% of the state’s traffic fatalities.
  • Notably, 25.71% of the state’s motor vehicle deaths occurred in crashes where a driver was under the influence of alcohol.
  • Disturbingly, one person was killed every 2 hours 15 minutes, one person was injured every 2 minutes 3 seconds, and one reportable crash occurred every 56 seconds.

These Texas car accident statistics highlight a stark reality about road safety in Texas, reinforcing the need for further preventive measures and adherence to traffic laws to reduce the prevalence of car accident deaths in the state.

Statistics Related to Car Accident Deaths in Texas

What Can We Do to Prevent Car Accident Deaths?

Efforts to reduce car accident deaths can take many forms, with responsible driving being the first step. Both individual actions and policy changes can significantly impact the prevalence of such fatalities. Here are a few strategies that can help prevent car accident deaths:

  • Adherence to Traffic Laws and Speed Limits:  Observing speed limits and following traffic rules is fundamental. Over-speeding and reckless driving are major contributors to car accident deaths.
  • Regular Vehicle Maintenance:  Regularly maintaining your vehicle can prevent mechanical failures that may lead to accidents. This includes regular checks of brakes, tires, lights, and other essential parts of the vehicle.
  • Driving Sober:  Alcohol and drugs significantly impair judgment and motor skills, increasing the likelihood of accidents. If you plan on drinking, designate a sober driver or use a taxi or rideshare service.
  • Using Safety Devices:  Always wear a seat belt and ensure all passengers are also buckled up. Use child safety seats for young children and don’t allow children under the age of 13 to sit in the front seat.
  • Avoid Distracted Driving:  Keep your attention on the road. Avoid using your phone, eating, or participating in other distracting activities while driving.
  • Adopt Defensive Driving Techniques:  Defensive driving involves anticipating potential hazards and reacting to them in time. This can help prevent accidents even when other drivers are behaving irresponsibly.

Preventing car accident deaths requires the collective effort of all road users. Despite significant increases in car accidents over time, figures from the National Safety Council demonstrate that car accident death rates have steadily declined.

By adhering to traffic laws, maintaining our vehicles, driving sober, using safety devices, avoiding distractions, and adopting defensive driving techniques, we can significantly reduce the number of fatalities that occur on our roads. Policymakers, law enforcement agencies, and community leaders also have a role to play in enforcing these practices and creating safer road conditions for everyone.

Contact Thompson Law if You Need Help After a Car Wreck

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car wreck and need legal guidance, don’t hesitate to contact Thompson Law. Our experienced team is dedicated to protecting your rights and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial impacts of car accidents and are here to provide the support you need.

You can reach us at our toll-free number 844-308-8180, or submit a web inquiry. We offer FREE CONSULTATIONS and charge NO FEE UNLESS WE WIN. Remember, Thompson Law is here to help you navigate this challenging time.

No win no fee accident lawyer - Car accident deaths and statistics worldwide, in the US, and in Texas

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