Car Accidents in the US


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Car Accidents in the U.S.

There were over 254 million registered vehicles in the United States in 2012. This figure represents a significant increase from the number of registered vehicles in 1960, which was only 74 million. Cars represent an important mode of transportation; this Silk seeks to explore this importance by using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to highlight the United State’s car accident trends from 1899 to 2013, the latest available data.

Most Fatal Years for Car Crashes (1899-2014)




As demonstrated by this table, the top-10 most fatal years for car accidents lie between the 1960s-1970s, which witnessed a sharp increase in the number of registered vehicles. In 1960, there were approximately 74 million registered vehicles. By early 1980, that number had more than doubled to 161 million. The most fatal year for car accidents, in terms of the number of deaths, was 1972. Over 54,500 people died from car accidents that year.

Alcohol-Impaired Driving & Pedestrian Deaths 

Total number of Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities and Pedestrian Fatalities Per Day. (2011-2013)

Source: NHTSA




Recent data from 2011-2013 shows the number of deaths from alcohol-impaired driving, as well as pedestrian fatalities. During this three year period, the number for both figures remained nearly constant, suggesting no improvement. 

Total Number of Fatalities 

Fatalities per Population of 100,000. (2000-2013)

Source: NHTSA






This time series shows the number of deaths (per population of 100,000) from 2000-2013. As demonstrated, the number of fatalities due to car accidents has decreased over the years. However, 2012 witnessed a slight increase in the number of fatalities. 

Total number of deaths from car accidents. (2000-2013)

Source: NHTSA




This graph shows the number of total deaths from 2000-2013. The year 2005 was the deadliest year for car accidents––over 43,000 people died. 

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