Non-Fatal Car Accident Statistics in America

Learn about the types of vehicles and victims involved in non-fatal car accidents, as well as what percentage of car crashes don’t involve any deaths.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car crashes are a significant public health concern in the United States, as accidents are a leading cause of death that kill over 100 people each day.

To reduce the risk of crash, the CDC recommends motorists take the following precautions:

  • Adults and older children should use a seat belt on every trip.
  • Avoid driving when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit.
  • Avoid distracted driving, such as taking your eyes off the road, taking your hands off the wheel or taking your mind off driving.

This article will review some essential statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about non-fatal car accidents in 2018, which includes accidents that caused injuries and those that only caused property damage.Car accident statistics breakdownNotable Statistics:

  • Approximately 99.5% of 6.734 million car crashes that occurred in 2018 were non-fatal.
  • In 2018, an estimated 2,710,000 people suffered non-fatal injuries in car accidents.
  • Over 90% of car accident victims injured in 2018 were passenger vehicle occupants.
  • More than half of the vehicles involved in non-fatal car accidents were passenger cars, and nearly 40% were light trucks.

Car Accident Statistics in 2018

According to NHTSA, there were approximately 6,734,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2018. Of these auto accidents, there were 33,654 (0.5%) fatal crashes, 1,894,000 (28.1%) car crashes that caused injuries, and 4,807,000 (71.4%) property-damage-only accidents. This means that 99.5% of crashes were non-fatal.Breakdown of traffic crash victims A detailed breakdown of the traffic crash victims who suffered a non-fatal injury is included in the chart below.

Type of Victim Number Injured Percent of Total Injured
Occupants 2,491,000 91.9%
   Drivers 1,808,000 66.7%
   Passengers 681,000 25.1%
   Unknown 3,000 0.1%
Motorcyclists 82,000 3.0%
Nonoccupants 137,000 5.1%
   Pedestrians 75,000 2.8%
   Bicyclists 47,000 1.7%
   Other/Unknown 15,000 0.6%
Total 2,710,000 100.0%

As shown above, over 90% of the car accident victims injured in 2018 were passenger vehicle occupants, and one-third of the people injured were drivers. Vehicle passengers accounted for a quarter of the non-fatal injuries.

NHTSA also estimates that 84 people were injured in traffic accidents for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled, 912 were injured per 100,000 registered vehicles, and 1,191 were injured per 100,000 licensed drivers. For every 100,000 people in the population, 828 were injured in a car crash in 2018.

Types of Vehicles in Non-Fatal Accidents

According to the NHTSA’s 2018 statistics, over half of the vehicles involved in non-fatal car accidents were passenger cars, and nearly 40% were light trucks. The types of vehicles involved in non-fatal crashes are laid out in detail in the chart below.Percent of vehicle types in accidents

Vehicle Type Non-Fatal Injury Property Damage Only Total Non-Fatal
Passenger Cars 1,960,000 (56.2%) 4,677,000 (55.0%) 6,637,000 (55.3%)
Light Trucks 1,315,000 (37.7%) 3,335,000 (39.2%) 4,650,000 (38.8%)
Large Trucks 112,000 (3.2%) 414,000 (4.9%) 526,000 (4.4%)
Motorcycles 79,000 (2.3%) 25,000 (0.3%) 104,000 (0.9%)
Buses 15,000 (0.4%) 50,000 (0.6%) 65,000 (0.5%)
Other 7,000 (0.2%) 8,000 (0.1%) 15,000 (0.1%)
Total 3,488,000 8,509,000 11,997,000

Some accidents that caused serious injuries involved rollovers. The NHTSA defines a “rollover” as “any vehicle rotation of 90 degrees or more about any true longitudinal or lateral axis.” The non-fatal crash rates for each type of vehicle that involved rollovers are outlined in the following chart.Non-fatal rollover accident stats

Vehicle Type Non-Fatal Injury Rollovers Property Damage Only Rollovers Total Non-Fatal Rollovers
Passenger Cars 55,000 (2.8% of total non-fatal injury passenger car accidents) 31,000 (0.7% of total property damage only passenger car accidents) 86,000 (1.3% of total non-fatal passenger car accidents)
Light Trucks — Pickup 29,000 (6.6%) 21,000 (1.9%) 50,000 (3.2%)
Light Trucks — Utility 37,000 (5.2%) 26,000 (1.5%) 63,000 (2.5%)
Light Trucks — Van 3,000 (2.1%) 3,000 (0.6%) 6,000 (1.0%)
Light Trucks — Other 1,000 (10.1%) < 500 (1.2%) < 1,500 (Not available)
Large Trucks 8,000 (6.8%) 11,000 (2.7%) 19,000 (3.6%)
Buses < 500 (1.9%) < 500 (0.3%) < 1,000 (Not available)
Other/Unknown 1,000 (14.0%) 1,000 (6.9%) 2,000 (13.3%)
Total 134,000 (3.9%) 93,000 (1.1%) 227,000 (1.9%)

Non-Fatal Injury Victims Demographics

Of the approximately 2.71 million people injured in non-fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2018, NHTSA estimates that 1,297,000 (47.9%) were male and 1,413,000 (52.1%) were female. This is a significant departure from the fatality rates, as 25,841 (70.7%) of the 36,560 traffic fatalities in 2018 were male, and only 10,676 (29.2%) were female.

The car accident injury rates are shown in the chart below by age group and sex.Car crash victim demographics

Age Group Male Injury Victims Female Injury Victims Total Injury Victims
< 5 25,000 (50.0% of total age group; 1.9% of total males) 25,000 (50.0% of total age group; 1.8% of total females) 50,000 (1.8%)
5-9 28,000 (43.8%% of total age group; 2.2% of total males) 35,000 (54.7% of total age group; 2.5% of total females) 64,000 (2.4%)
10-15 46,000 (46.9% of total age group; 3.5% of total males) 52,000 (53.1% of total age group; 3.7% of total females) 98,000 (3.6%)
16-20 137,000 (46.1% of total age group; 9.7% of total males) 160,000 (53.9% of total age group; 11.3% of total females) 297,000 (11.0%)
21-24 126,000 (46.7% of total age group; 1.9% of total males) 144,000 (53.3% of total age group; 10.2% of total females) 270,000 (10.0%)
25-34 274,000 (49.5% of total age group; 21.1% of total males) 281,000 (50.7% of total age group; 19.9% of total females) 554,000 (20.4%)
35-44 197,000 (48.0% of total age group; 15.2% of total males) 213,000 (52.0% of total age group; 15.1% of total females) 410,000 (15.1%)
45-54 180,000 (48.3% of total age group; 13.9% of total males) 193,000 (51.7% of total age group; 13.7% of total females) 373,000 (13.8%)
55-64 154,000 (48.3% of total age group; 11.9% of total males) 165,000 (51.7% of total age group; 11.7% of total females) 319,000 (11.8%)
65-74 87,000 (48.6% of total age group; 6.7% of total males) 92,000 (51.4% of total age group; 6.5% of total females) 179,000 (6.6%)
> 74 45,000  (46.4% of total age group; 3.5% of total males) 52,000 (53.6% of total age group; 3.7% of total females) 97,000 (3.6%)
Total 1,297,000 (47.9%) 1,413,000 (52.1%) 2,710,000 

If you or someone you love are one of the millions of people injured in non-fatal car accidents each year, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Reach out to a personal injury attorney near you to schedule a free consultation.

Amy Grover is a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, then passing the bar exam in 2014, Amy began her diverse career as a practicing attorney. Amy has a range of experience in the legal field, including work with the Department... Read More >>