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Car Accident Statistics 2019

Car Accident Statistics 2019

Research by Careful Cents on the 2019 Car Accident Statistics reports that there are few greater freedoms than those provided by having your own car. Being able to drive allows you to go where you want when you want, giving you independence no other machine can. Plus, millions of people all around the world rely on their cars to get them to and from work every day and to meet their various other personal, professional, and social obligations.

However, because driving is so normal for most of us, we often forget how dangerous it can be. Cars are heavy pieces of metal that go extremely fast. It doesn’t take a physics degree to know this combination can cause both destruction and death.

Chances are you know someone who has been involved in a car accident, whether it was a small fender bender or a major collision that resulted in a loss of life. But you may be wondering how likely it actually is for something to happen.

In the end, it’s not as though death is waiting for you every time you get behind the wheel, but car accidents are a major cause of death around the world. Understanding how and why they happen will go a long way towards helping us take the steps needed to eliminate the all-too-common tragedies that result from motor vehicle operation.

Car Accidents in 2019 At a Glance

What Happens to People Who Get In a Car Accident?

Although no one wants to see their car damaged or written off, this fear pales in comparison to what can happen to you and those around you in the event a crash does occur.

Here is a visual breakdown of what’s likely to happen to you in the event you get in a car accident, and below you can find an explanation of how we got our numbers.

Death: Worst-Case Yet Least-Likely Scenario

Obviously, the worst-case scenario when it comes to a car crash is that someone loses their life. But fortunately, fatal car crashes are not the norm. In fact, despite fatal car crashes being one of the leading causes of death around the world, the chances of you dying in a car crash are, in reality, rather slim.

Of the estimated six million car crashes that occur each year, “only” about 40,000 of those resulted in fatalities, which translates to just 0.6 percent.

Within fatal car crashes, the person most likely to be killed is the driver (52.1 percent of all car accident fatalities are drivers), with passengers coming in second (20 percent). Motorcyclists make up 13 percent of all deaths, and pedestrians, meaning people who weren’t even in the car, make up a whopping 12 percent.

Serious or Permanent Injury: The Most Likely Negative Outcome

While your chances of dying in a car crash are not that high, please don’t take this as a sign that car accidents are not as serious as they seem. This is because while you will most likely escape death’s grip, you’re quite likely to suffer a serious or even permanent injury as a result of being in a car accident.

Returning to our “six million a year” number, consider that two million people are seriously or permanently injured in car accidents each year. That comes out to a rate of about 33 percent. That’s a frighteningly high number and should point to the very real danger car accidents pose to our health and safety.

Mild Injury: A Less Likely But Possible Result

A total of three million people are injured each year in the six million car accidents that occur. But we know that of those three million, two million are considered “serious or permanent.” That means that you have a one in six, or 16 percent, chance of suffering just a “mild” injury.

This is not a particularly heartening number because it shows us that when something does happen, it’s most likely to be serious.

Nothing: The Most Likely Outcome

If you have a 33 percent chance of being seriously injured, a 16 percent chance of suffering a mild injury, and a 0.6 percent chance of dying, that means your chances of walking away from a car accident completely unscathed are right around 50 percent.

This means that of all the possible outcomes, this is the most likely. But when you combine the negative outcomes listed above, they also equal 50 percent. This is slightly scarier because it means your odds of walking away safely from a car accident versus suffering an injury or death are the same as choosing heads or tails when flipping a coin or red or black when choosing a card from a deck of fifty-two.

This isn’t meant to scare you but rather to point to the very real danger car accidents pose. Hopefully, this will inspire you to take steps to reduce the risk of you causing a car accident or being involved in one, something we will discuss in-depth later on.


The worst possible outcome of a car accident is obviously the death of a human being. But in addition to this burden, car accidents also cost people and society a considerable amount of money from the property damage caused by car accidents. Here are some stats to highlight how much of an impact this has:

Car Accident Statistics for Teen Drivers

It’s no secret that drivers in their teens pose more of a threat than older, more experienced motorists. That’s why almost every family member of a young driver makes the same joke when a kid finally gets their license: “Watch out!”

But in reality, the danger teens pose to themselves and other drivers is no laughing matter.

Teen drivers are notoriously susceptible to distracted driving, and because they have less experience on the road, they are less capable of responding to sudden emergencies.

The only ways to address this problem are to raise minimum ages for driving, require stricter training procedures, and enact more restrictions on teen drivers (graduated licensing) that are more effectively enforced.

However, in the United States, where driving as a teenager is seen as a not only an important rite of passage but also a necessity, it’s difficult to rally support for the restrictions needed to keep younger drivers, as well as those sharing the road with them, safe.

Here are some stats to point to the risk that comes when young people get behind the wheel:

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