Accident Facts and Statistics



  • More than 5.8 million police-reported motor vehicle crashes occurred in the United States in 2008. Twenty-eight percent of those crashes (1.63 million) resulted in bodily injury, and fewer than 1% (34,017) resulted in death.
  • Midnight to 3 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays proved to be the deadliest 3-hour period in 2008, with 1,171 and 1,184 fatal crashes, respectively.
  • Collision with another motor vehicle in transport was the most common first harmful event for fatal, injury and property-damage-only crashes.
  • Thirty-one percent of all fatal crashes involved alcohol-impaired driving. For fatal crashes occurring from midnight to 3 a.m., 64 percent involved alcohol-impaired driving


  • Large trucks accounted for 8 percent of the vehicles in fatal crashes, but only 2 percent of the vehicles involved in inury crashes and 4 percent of vehicles involved in property-damage-only crashes. Of the 4,066 large trucks involved in fatal crashes, 74 percent were combination trucks.
  • Compared with other vehicle types, utility vehicles experienced the highest rollover rates in fatal crashes (32.9 percent) and in property damage-only crashes (4.8 percent). Large trucks experienced the highest rollover rate in injury crashes (10.8 percent).
  • Motorcycles in fatal crashes had the highest proportion of collisions with fixed objects (25.8 percent), and large trucks in fatal crashes had the lowest proportion (4.0 percent)


  • A total of 37,261 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in 2008. Another 2.35 million people were injured.
  • The majority of persons killed in traffic related crashes were drivers (64%), passengers (27%), motorcyclists (4%), pedestrians (3%) and pedalcyclists (2%).
  • Per 100,000 population, persons 21 to 24 years old had the highest fatality rate and persons 16 to 20 years old had the highest injury rate. Children under 5 years old had the lowest fatality rate and lowest injury rate.
  • For every age group, the fatality rate per 100,000 population was lower for females than for males.
  • Of the persons who were killed in traffic crashes in 2008, 32 percent died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.

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