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Car Accident Statistics

Below are some updated 2016-2018 car accident statistics for Maryland and the United States.  Elsewhere, we provide the settlement value of car and truck accident claims in Maryland and drunk driving statistics and texting accident statistics.  

The following car accident statistics are offered just to give a context of the scope of the problem and to highlight some of the points we have been making:

  1. smaller cars that come with better gas mileage cause more severe injuries in accidents,
  2. we still need to get stronger on our laws regarding drunk driving, and
  3. we need to continue to explore the risk of car accidents associated with cell phone usage.

With that in mind, we offer the following car crash statistics:

  • As you will see below, Maryland had its worst year for fatalities in 2017 since 2009.  While 2018 numbers remain to be seen, we might actually see a fall in deaths.  Why?  Why? Gas prices went down dramatically in 2017 but are bouncing back in 2018. Prices in Maryland fell below $2.00 for the first time in forever in November 2015 and were just slightly higher in 2017.  This puts more people on the roads.  There is less carpooling, less use of public transportation, and more deaths. The rise in gas prices we are seeing in 2018 will probably save lives. 
  • In 2016, 40,200 people died in motor vehicle collisions. To put this in context, this is about the same number of people who died in car crashes in 1950.  This is the most deaths since 2007. (Opinion: cars are being made safer so we can expect the downward trend in car accident deaths to continue. But text messaging and the increased use of cell phones, in general, is slowing down the progress.  With lower cases prices, these trends could get worse. The good news with lower gas prices is the Americans will feel free to buy bigger cars that use more gas but are significantly safer.)
  • The total number of accident fatalities is not a very insightful statistic for evaluating car accident safety trends.  Deaths per cars on the road and deaths per miles driven are much more accurate measures of highway safety.  Both of these analytical tools show that motor vehicles are comparatively safer now than ever before.  In 1913 there were 33 fatalities for every 10,000 registered vehicles. In 2016 there were only 1.5 deaths for every 10,000 registered vehicles.  This represents a decrease of 95%. Deaths per total vehicle miles driven have decreased by a factor of 16 since 1920.
  • Most motor vehicle wrecks don't cause injuries. In 2010, there were 5,419,000 police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes. Only 1,542,000 caused injuries. Most injuries were pretty mild.
  • Plus or minus from year to year, there are approximately 16,000,000 auto accidents in the United States every year. Why are there so many more than the last statistic would suggest? Most car crashes are not reported to the police. Again, In the vast majority of these, no one is injured. There are three million people injured every year in accidents (remember, there at least two people involved in most car accidents, which is why I say no one is injured in most car accidents).
  • Car accidents' total toll on the economy is about $250 billion. (Putting that number in context, it would pay for a quarter of President Obama's health care plan over the next 10 years.) Most of the cost is property damage to vehicles.
  • Car Accident Statistics
  • There are 342,000 auto accident injuries and $43 billion each year in property damage, lost wages, medical bills, and fatalities that government statistics attribute to cell phone usage while driving.
  • There were a total of 4.57 million medically consulted injuries resulting from auto accidents in 2017 – causing a total estimated loss of $413 billion (which includes lost earnings, medical expenses, property damage and employer costs).  This represents a 1% decrease from 2016.   
  • Guns are unsafe for kids, but cars are much worse. Approximately 115 people die every day in car, truck and motorcycle accident in the United States. Gunshot wounds and car accidents pose the leading threats to children's survival in this country. Car accidents account for 37% and firearms 27% of the 20,000 fatal injuries each year to children ages 1 through 19, according to the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Injury Prevention Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Traffic crashes are the number one killer of people between the ages of 4 to 34.
  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - and this is hard to believe - motor vehicle accidents were the leading cause of workplace fatalities.
  • Men and Women Are Different. One-third of women are killed in single-vehicle crashes compared to 55% of men. (Read that again, it is pretty incredible.)
  • Vehicle speed is the greatest predictor of the extent of the driver's injury, followed by the type of crash, the age of the victim, use of a seatbelt, the mass of the vehicle, and sex of the driver.
  • Distracted driving is now the number one killer of American teens. Five seconds is the average time a driver's eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55 mph, that equates to the distance of one football field. 
Maryland Accident Statistics
  • Pedestrians jaywalking, or crossing mid-block is the leading accident cause of pedestrian accidents.  These accidents are 39 percent of the deaths in Maryland suburbs, 21 percent of the time in the District and 18 percent of the time in Northern Virginia.
  • 8% of Maryland jury awards in motor vehicle suits are for more than $250,000.
  • In 2007, teenage drivers in Maryland were involved in 98 fatal crashes, 7,357 crashes with injuries and nearly 11,538 other reported crashes, according to the Maryland Highway Safety Office.
  • Nationally, in 2014, 2,270 teens ages 16–19 were killed, and 221,313 were treated in emergency departments for motor vehicle injuries. If you do the math, six teens between 66–19 die every day from motor vehicle accidents. Each one is an epic tragedy.
  • In 2009, 10,591 lives were lost due to speed-related collisions. Speed-related crashes cost Americans $40.4 billion each year.
  • Most highway crashes are minor bumps in our lives that only involve the headache of property damage. Approximately 65% of crashes in Maryland cause no injuries.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in 2006, 651 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in Maryland, up six percent from 2005. Sixty percent of motor vehicle injuries and 44% of fatalities occurred during the workday hours of 5 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • In Maryland, 560 people were killed in traffic wrecks from January to October 2008, compared with 615 people who died during the same period of 2007. 
  • In Anne Arundel County, police reported 8,850 car accidents in 2007, but about half as many - 4,463 - in 2008.  Police also reported 48 people were killed in Anne Arundel County car, truck, and motorcycle accidents in 2007 and 45 fatal deaths in 2008.
  • There were a total of 120,120 police-reported car accidents in the state of Maryland in 2016 according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. 
  • About 30% of the police-reported car accidents resulted in physical injuries to drivers or passengers. 
  • Just under 51,000 people were injured in Maryland car accidents in 2016.  About 3,500 of these were classified as “serious” physical injuries.   
  • 483 car accidents resulted in fatalities in Maryland in 2016.  This accounts for .5% of all police-reported accidents.
  • 557 people died in Maryland traffic crashes during 2017.  A total of 522 people were killed in Maryland car accidents in 2016 and 521 people were killed in 2015.  
  • The 5-year fatality rate per vehicle miles driven in Maryland is .894.  This is less than the 5-year national VMT fatality rate of 1.2 suggesting that driving in Maryland is somewhat safer compared to other parts of the country.
  • Maryland traffic fatalities statistics by year:
    • 1968: 872 (the year before our first medevac helicopters to take the injured to Shock Trauma at UMMS in Baltimore)
    • 1990: 707
    • 2000: 588
    • 2004: 643
    • 2005: 614
    • 2006: 652
    • 2007: 614
    • 2008: 591
    • 2009: 547 (30% alcohol related)
    • 2010: 496
    • 2011: 485
    • 2012: 476
    • 2013: 466
    • 2014: 442
    • 2015: 520
    • 2016: 523
    • 2017: 557
    • 2018: ?
What to Do If You Need a Lawyer

Experienced counsel can help you to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Our firm has the experience and the resources to did through these complicated issues and stand up to the insurance companies to fight for equitable compensation. 

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle collision, select here for a free consultation or call 1-800-553-8082 to speak with an attorney who can help you figure out what the best path is for you.

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The entire team from the intake Samantha to the lawyer himself (Ron Miller) has been really approachable. Suzette Allen
The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa