The number of fatal car accidents varies from state to state and has a lot to do with population size. Here are the facts and figures behind the annual number of fatal motor vehicle accidents in all 50 U.S. states.
The number of car accident deaths varies greatly across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. There are a number of factors that can affect the statistics when comparing motor vehicle fatalities on a state by state basis, including weather, types of vehicles involved, number of passengers, travel speeds, topography, and more.
It’s also important to factor in a state’s population when examining the number of car accident fatalities in each state. Using data from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, we compared the number of motor vehicle fatalities in every state, taking into account each state’s total population.
Car accidents can happen everywhere, no matter what state you live in. In 2018, there were 33,654 fatal car accidents across the United States. The table below is a state-by-state breakdown of fatal motor vehicle crashes and motor vehicle crash deaths per all 50 states and Washington D.C. as of 2018, according to the IIHS.
|State||State population||Fatal crashes||Deaths|
|District of Columbia||702,455||30||31|
In 2018, the number of motor vehicle fatalities varied widely across all 50 states. Texas had the highest number of fatal crashes, 3,305, and Washington D.C. had the lowest, 30.
Population size is an important factor — Texas’ population is nearly 40 times than that of Washington D.C., and Texans may be driving longer distances than D.C. drivers.
Insurance companies know that more people on the road can lead to more car accidents, which is part of the reason why drivers who live in big cities or dense areas often pay more for car insurance than drivers who live in less population-dense locales.
49% - Percentage of motor vehicle fatalities involving an SUV or pickup in Wisconsin in 2018
36,560 - Total number of fatalities from car accidents in all 50 states in 2018
53% - Percentage of deaths in single vehicle crashes nationwide in 2018
90% - Percentage of seat belt use by front seat occupants nationwide in 2018
$15,506 - The average cost per bodily injury claim in 2013
13% - Percentage of all U.S. drivers who were uninsured in 2015, that’s one in eight drivers
45% - Percentage of motor vehicle deaths that occured in rural areas nationwide in 2018
90% - Percentage of motor vehicle deaths in South Dakota that took place on rural roads in 2018
Kara McGinley is an insurance editor at Policygenius, specializing in home, auto and renters insurance. She previously worked as a freelance writer and copywriter, and has been writing about insurance since 2019. Kara is an expert at making complicated topics like property insurance simple to understand. Her work can be found in Teen Vogue, The Culture Crush, and more.
Kara has a B.A. in English from East Carolina University.
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