Crash Deaths

Where the US Stands

In the United States about 90 people die each day from motor vehicle crashes, resulting in the highest death rate among 19 high-income comparison countries. Our nation has made progress in road safety, reducing crash deaths by 31 percent from 2000 to 2013. But other high-income countries reduced crash deaths even further—by an average of 56 percent during the same period of time.

Compared with other high-income countries, the US had the:

  • most motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 population and per 10,000 registered vehicles;
  • second highest percentage of deaths involving alcohol; and
  • third lowest front seat belt use.

These findings highlight key areas where the US can achieve more progress. Implementing proven measures to prevent motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and deaths can save thousands of lives each year.

road traffic deaths US

Road traffic deaths in the US and other high-income countries.

Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

Motor Vehicle Safety

Motor Vehicle Safety

Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

About 90 people die each day in the US from crashed – resulting in the highest death rate among comparison countries.

About 90 people die each day in the US from crashed – resulting in the highest death rate among comparison countries.

US crash deaths fell 31% compared to an average of 56% in 19 other high-income countries from 2000-2013.

US crash deaths fell 31% compared to an average of 56% in 19 other high-income countries from 2000-2013.

Over 18,000 lives could be saved each year if US crash deaths equaled the average rate of 19 other high-income countries.

Over 18,000 lives could be saved each year if US crash deaths equaled the average rate of 19 other high-income countries.

seat-belt laws by country

Seat-belt laws by country

External
who drinking laws by country

Drink-driving laws by country

External
Individual buckling their seatbelt

Adult seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.

Car keys and alochol

In the U.S. almost one third of road deaths are associated with drunk driving.

Traffic blur

In the United States about 90 people die each day from motor vehicle crashes, resulting in the highest death rate among 19 high-income comparison countries.

Contact Information

CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286
media@cdc.gov

Vital Signs Links

Factsheet:
English Cdc-pdf[3.17MB]
Spanish Cdc-pdf[3.03MB]

Spokespersons

“It is important to compare us not to our past but to our potential. Seeing that other high-income countries are doing better, we know we can do better too,” said Debra Houry, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “People of our nation deserve better and safer transport.”

Debra E. Houry, MD, MPH –  Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

“It’s unacceptable for 90 people to die on our roads each day, especially when we know what works to prevent crashes, injuries, and deaths,” said Erin Sauber-Schatz, Ph.D., M.P.H., transportation safety team lead, CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “About 3,000 lives could be saved each year by increasing seat belt use to 100 percent and up to 10,000 lives could be saved each year by eliminating alcohol-impaired driving.”

Erin K. Sauber-Schatz, PhD, MPH – (CDR US) Public Health Service, Transportation Safety Team Lead

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Page last reviewed: July 6, 2016