Car Crash Statistics



Also see: Car Death Report and Car Injury Report

Since 1996, American car owners have reported 49,748 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
17,616
  Vehicle Speed Control
6,787
  Hydraulic Service Brakes
6,501
  Power Train
3,195
  Steering
2,703
  Seat Belts
1,520
  Suspension
1,444
  Engine And Engine Cooling
1,401
  Electrical System
1,375
  Structure
1,312
  Tires
1,189
  Seats
852
  Equipment
715
  Unknown Or Other
507
  Wheels
494
  Gasoline Fuel System
357
  Parking Brake
299
  Visibility
279
  Exterior Lighting
273
  Other Fuel System
240
  Electronic Stability Control
236
  Air Service Brakes
235
  Latches/locks/linkages
105
  Traction Control System
61
  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 (3,948 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
2,822
  2002
2,749
  2003
2,766
  2004
3,342
  2005
2,763
  2006
2,249
  2007
2,217
  2008
2,336
  2009
2,893
  2010
3,948
  2011
2,325
  2012
2,694
  2013
3,131
  2014
3,835

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 4,392 crashes reported and cars produced in 2013 (current year is excluded) had the least crashes with 671 crashes reported.

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

Production Year Number of Crashes
1996 vehicles
3,173
1997 vehicles
2,984
1998 vehicles
3,194
1999 vehicles
3,920
2000 vehicles
4,392
2001 vehicles
3,963
2002 vehicles
3,928
2003 vehicles
3,445
2004 vehicles
3,306
2005 vehicles
3,199
2006 vehicles
2,994
2007 vehicles
2,786
2008 vehicles
2,296
2009 vehicles
1,535
2010 vehicles
1,525
2011 vehicles
1,054
2012 vehicles
918
2013 vehicles
671
2014 vehicles
368

Also see: Car Death Report and Car Injury Report