Car Crash Statistics



Also see: Car Death Report and Car Injury Report

Since 1996, American car owners have reported 46,402 car crashes to the U.S. Department of Transportation for vehicles built by the 31 automakers that we track. The car crashes that we study in this article are results of car problems. Table 1 shows the most common car problems that caused the crashes since year 1996. Table 2 shows the number of car crashes reported each year due to these car problems. Table 3 shows the number of car crashes by production year.

Common causes of car crashes

Table 1 shows the most common car problems that caused car crashes. The number one cause of car crashes is failure of the air bags. The next two leading causes of car crashes are vehicle speed control and hydraulic service brakes, respectively.

Table 1. Common causes of car crashes

Car Problem Category Number of Car Crashes
  Air Bags
16,657
  Vehicle Speed Control
6,551
  Hydraulic Service Brakes
6,087
  Power Train
3,081
  Steering
2,411
  Seat Belts
1,441
  Suspension
1,342
  Engine And Engine Cooling
1,224
  Tires
1,175
  Electrical System
1,162
  Structure
1,043
  Seats
824
  Unknown Or Other
507
  Equipment
480
  Wheels
425
  Gasoline Fuel System
351
  Parking Brake
296
  Visibility
270
  Exterior Lighting
242
  Air Service Brakes
235
  Other Fuel System
196
  Electronic Stability Control
190
  Latches/locks/linkages
101
  Traction Control System
59
  Child Seat
26
  Interior Lighting
16
  Diesel Fuel System
8
  Hybrid Propulsion System
2

Total number of car crashes by year

Table 2 shows the number of crashes reported each year since 1996. 2010 had the most crashes reported (3,879 crashes) and 1996 had the least crashes with 619 crashes reported.

Table 2. Total Number of crashes reported each year since 1996

Calendar Year Number of car Crashes
  1996
619
  1997
782
  1998
1,100
  1999
1,985
  2000
2,642
  2001
2,821
  2002
2,743
  2003
2,753
  2004
3,334
  2005
2,753
  2006
2,221
  2007
2,189
  2008
2,302
  2009
2,836
  2010
3,879
  2011
2,226
  2012
2,548
  2013
2,722
  2014
1,397

Total number of car crashes by model year

Table 3 shows the number of crashes reported for vehicles manufactured from year 1996 to 2014. Cars made in 2000 had the most crashes with 4,296 crashes reported and cars produced in 2013 (current year is excluded) had the least crashes with 444 crashes reported.

Table 3. Total Number of crashes reported for vehicles built since 1996

Production Year Number of Crashes
1996 vehicles
3,162
1997 vehicles
2,961
1998 vehicles
3,163
1999 vehicles
3,876
2000 vehicles
4,296
2001 vehicles
3,841
2002 vehicles
3,756
2003 vehicles
3,263
2004 vehicles
3,117
2005 vehicles
2,958
2006 vehicles
2,677
2007 vehicles
2,519
2008 vehicles
2,024
2009 vehicles
1,347
2010 vehicles
1,301
2011 vehicles
823
2012 vehicles
680
2013 vehicles
444
2014 vehicles
128

Also see: Car Death Report and Car Injury Report