Car Crash Statistics



Also see: Car Death Report and Car Injury Report

Since 1996, American car owners have reported 66,484 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 hydraulic service brakes and vehicle speed control, respectively.

Table 1. Common causes of car crashes

Car Problem Category Number of Car Crashes
  Air Bags
23,188
  Hydraulic Service Brakes
8,520
  Vehicle Speed Control
8,130
  Power Train
4,081
  Steering
3,769
  Structure
2,381
  Electrical System
2,155
  Seat Belts
2,122
  Engine And Engine Cooling
2,073
  Suspension
1,872
  Equipment
1,593
  Tires
1,280
  Seats
1,024
  Wheels
825
  Electronic Stability Control
509
  Unknown Or Other
507
  Other Fuel System
478
  Exterior Lighting
440
  Gasoline Fuel System
381
  Visibility
337
  Parking Brake
317
  Air Service Brakes
243
  Latches/locks/linkages
119
  Traction Control System
77
  Child Seat
34
  Interior Lighting
16
  Diesel Fuel System
8
  Hybrid Propulsion System
3
  Forward Collision Avoidance
1
  Back Over Prevention
1

Total number of car crashes by year

Table 2 shows the number of crashes reported each year since 1996. 2014 had the most crashes reported (6,157 crashes) and 1996 had the least crashes with 660 crashes reported.

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

Calendar Year Number of car Crashes
  1996
660
  1997
837
  1998
1,178
  1999
2,197
  2000
2,821
  2001
2,983
  2002
2,923
  2003
2,931
  2004
3,472
  2005
2,897
  2006
2,379
  2007
2,329
  2008
2,474
  2009
3,040
  2010
4,134
  2011
2,555
  2012
3,274
  2013
4,122
  2014
6,157
  2015
5,070
  2016
4,213
  2017
1,092

Total number of car crashes by model year

Table 3 shows the number of crashes reported for vehicles manufactured from year 1996 to 2017. Cars made in 2000 had the most crashes with 4,787 crashes reported and cars produced in 2016 (current year is excluded) had the least crashes with 486 crashes reported.

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

Production Year Number of Crashes
1996 vehicles
3,376
1997 vehicles
3,309
1998 vehicles
3,596
1999 vehicles
4,332
2000 vehicles
4,787
2001 vehicles
4,484
2002 vehicles
4,628
2003 vehicles
4,177
2004 vehicles
4,099
2005 vehicles
4,226
2006 vehicles
4,047
2007 vehicles
3,860
2008 vehicles
3,297
2009 vehicles
2,314
2010 vehicles
2,301
2011 vehicles
2,025
2012 vehicles
2,040
2013 vehicles
1,899
2014 vehicles
1,792
2015 vehicles
1,186
2016 vehicles
486
2017 vehicles
76

Also see: Car Death Report and Car Injury Report