Car accidents are an unfortunate reality of modern life, and the United States faces its share of these each year. In 2020, 35,766 fatal motor vehicle accidents occurred on American roadways, resulting in 38,824 deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
These statistics highlight that one fatal car accident occurred approximately every 15 minutes in the country during that year. Even more concerning, there was a 7% increase in fatal motor vehicle accidents between 2019 and 2020. It is important to know how many accidents are fatal and the common causes of these fatalities.
Fatal accidents are not as common as it seems
It is necessary to put these statistics into perspective. Out of the 5,250,837 reported accidents, less than 1% resulted in a fatality. Unfortunately, of that 1%, many were minors under 20.
Factors contributing to fatal accidents
To better understand why some car accidents prove fatal, you need to delve into the leading causes:
Drunk Driving: Impaired driving due to alcohol consumption played a significant role in causing more fatalities than any other violation.
Speeding: Excessive speed was another major contributor, resulting in 11,259 road fatalities in 2020. Speeding increases the risk of accidents occurring and makes the consequences more severe when they do happen.
Distracted Driving: Distraction is a pervasive issue. This includes talking, playing games, watching videos and texting on the phone as well as eating while driving.
The top reasons fatal car accidents occur in the United States provide a sobering reminder of the importance of safe driving practices.
While accidents are unfortunate, they are not inevitable, and many are preventable through responsible behavior behind the wheel.