Car Crash Statistics



Also see: Car Death Report and Car Injury Report

Since 1996, American car owners have reported 66,115 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
23,060
  Hydraulic Service Brakes
8,477
  Vehicle Speed Control
8,095
  Power Train
4,065
  Steering
3,751
  Structure
2,358
  Electrical System
2,139
  Seat Belts
2,103
  Engine And Engine Cooling
2,061
  Suspension
1,864
  Equipment
1,572
  Tires
1,280
  Seats
1,020
  Wheels
815
  Unknown Or Other
507
  Electronic Stability Control
501
  Other Fuel System
474
  Exterior Lighting
439
  Gasoline Fuel System
381
  Visibility
335
  Parking Brake
317
  Air Service Brakes
243
  Latches/locks/linkages
118
  Traction Control System
77
  Child Seat
34
  Interior Lighting
16
  Diesel Fuel System
8
  Hybrid Propulsion System
3
  Back Over Prevention
1
  Forward Collision Avoidance
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 (6,152 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
2,368
  2007
2,329
  2008
2,474
  2009
3,040
  2010
4,133
  2011
2,554
  2012
3,274
  2013
4,116
  2014
6,152
  2015
5,055
  2016
4,137
  2017
838

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 4,785 crashes reported and cars produced in 2016 (current year is excluded) had the least crashes with 460 crashes reported.

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

Production Year Number of Crashes
1996 vehicles
3,371
1997 vehicles
3,308
1998 vehicles
3,593
1999 vehicles
4,332
2000 vehicles
4,785
2001 vehicles
4,474
2002 vehicles
4,617
2003 vehicles
4,150
2004 vehicles
4,085
2005 vehicles
4,204
2006 vehicles
4,022
2007 vehicles
3,838
2008 vehicles
3,271
2009 vehicles
2,302
2010 vehicles
2,281
2011 vehicles
2,006
2012 vehicles
2,013
2013 vehicles
1,875
2014 vehicles
1,760
2015 vehicles
1,159
2016 vehicles
460
2017 vehicles
62

Also see: Car Death Report and Car Injury Report