The Most Common Car Accident Fatalities: What to Know

Over 38,800 people died in 2020 due to automobile accidents, which is the highest number of deaths since 2007. That equates to over 100 people dying each day in the United States due to automobile-related incidents. Don't be another statistic! Learn what the most common causes of automobile fatalities are and how you can avoid them.

What Are the Most Common Car Accident Fatalities? 

The most common causes of fatal car accidents revolve around three things: alcohol, speeding, or not wearing a seatbelt. Show your loved ones that you care about them by always avoiding these things among others while operating a motor vehicle. 

Don't Drink and Drive

Over 11,650 people lost their lives due to driving while under the impairment of alcohol in 2020. This makes it the largest cause of automotive fatalities that year. Legally, when your blood alcohol content is greater than 0.08%, you're an impaired driver. While it is fun to go out and have some drinks with your friends, always make sure you have a designated driver or call a rideshare company to get you home safely. 

Obey the Speed Limit

Every road has its own designated speed limit for a reason, whether it's because of the number of curves, visibility, or amount of traffic. Always stick to the posted speed limit. When you drive faster, you increase the odds of losing control, especially if you are unfamiliar with the road. Nearly 11,300 people died because they were speeding in 2020. Slow down and save a life.

Always Wear Your Seatbelt

Don't fall for the myths about wearing a seatbelt or you'll end up as just another statistic. 

  • Seatbelts will trap me in the car — They take less than a second to remove.

  • I'm only driving close to home and don't need one — Most accidents occur within 25 miles of your home.

  • People get thrown from a car and walk away without any injuries — Your odds of survival decrease greatly if you're thrown from a car, especially if you end up in the path of a moving car.

There were 21,376 automotive fatalities in 2020 that documented if seatbelts were worn or not. Nearly 10,900 drivers died that weren't wearing their seatbelts while 10,483 died that had their seatbelts on. Seatbelts definitely save lives.

Don't Drive Distracted

Over 8% of all deaths in 2020 were due to distracted driving. Distracted driving can involve anything from trying to text and drive, adjusting the radio, or even trying to eat fast food while you're behind the wheel.  If you need to make a call, use hands-free mode and pull over if you need to send a text. Trying to do multiple things while driving isn't worth risking lives for. 

Rest Up Before Driving

It is important that you get plenty of sleep if you plan on driving a lot. Around 1.6% of the driving deaths in 2020 were due to drowsy driving. Surprisingly, if you drive after being up for 20 hours, it is like driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.8%. You need to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep a night to help you avoid these kinds of accidents. 

Avoid Anything That Can Endanger You While Driving

It is important for you to avoid doing anything while you are driving that prevents you from having full focus on the road. Keep alcohol out of your system, don't speed, and keep your eyes on the road so you can make it home safely. Another way to keep yourself safe is by signing up for a driver's education course at They'll teach you the rules of the road so you can reach your destination safe and sound.

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Updated 6/28/22