Broken glass scattered on road

Motor Vehicle Crash Stats: Everything You Need to Know

The Prevalence of Traffic Crashes in the U.S. Roads

Many factors contribute to the high number of traffic accidents in the United States. One of the most significant is the increasing amount of time Americans spend on the road. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average American driver logs about 13,476 miles annually. This is a significant increase from 1975, when the average was just 9,627 miles per year. With more people driving more miles each year, it is not surprising that the number of traffic accidents has also increased. Here are some very telling facts.

Motor Vehicle Crashes By the Numbers

According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 38,824 people died in traffic crashes in 2020. The NHTSA also reported the following fatality increases compared to 2019:

  • Overall fatalities increased by 6.8%

  • Alcohol-impaired driving accidents increased by 14%

  • Motorcyclist deaths increased by 11%

  • Pedestrian deaths increased by 3.9%

  • Unrestrained vehicle occupant deaths increased by 14%

  • Ejected passenger vehicle occupant deaths increased by 21%

  • Single-vehicle crashes increased by 9.4%

The NHTSA report also noted an estimated 2,282,015 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2020. You can view the full 2020 report here.

Top Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Some of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents include the following:

Distracted Driving

According to the NHTSA, distracted driving is the leading cause of motor vehicle accidents. Distracted driving crashes alone killed 3,142 people in 2020. Distracted driving includes behaviors such as talking on the phone to eating behind the wheel. Distracted driving takes a driver’s attention away from the road, making it more difficult to react to potential hazards.


Another leading cause of motor vehicle accidents is speeding. Driving too fast for conditions is one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road. Speeding makes it difficult to stop or swerve around obstacles, increasing crashes’ severity. It is essential always to follow the posted speed limit and to slow down when driving in adverse weather conditions.

Impaired Driving

A third common cause of motor vehicle accidents is impaired driving. This includes anything from drunk driving to driving while fatigued. Impaired drivers have slowed reflexes and poorer judgment, which increases their risk of crashing.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Being Involved in a Car Accident

There are many ways to reduce the risk of being involved in a car accident. One of the most important is always to drive defensively. This means being aware of the other cars on the road and anticipating their next move. It also means obeying all traffic laws and staying within the speed limit.

Another way to reduce the risk of an accident is to ensure your car is always in good working condition. This means regularly checking the tires, brakes, and lights and getting any necessary repairs done promptly. Finally, always remember to buckle up—both you and your passengers. Seat belts are one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce the risk of serious injury in an accident. Following these tips can help keep yourself and others safe on the road.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you’ve been in a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. The first step is to contact a car accident lawyer. An experienced lawyer will be able to help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

Call Denver Trial Lawyers® today at (303) 647-9990 for a free consultation. There are no fees unless we win.