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How Many Car Accidents Are There in the USA per Day?

In a normal year, over 6 million police-reported car accidents are recorded in the United States. Those accidents can be as minor as a fender bender or involve life-threatening injuries to motorists, pedestrians, or bicyclists.

Those collisions are most often caused by the reckless and careless decisions of drivers. Maison Law of California conducted a study of the yearly traffic crashes and fatalities that are too often entered into databases and then forgotten. A look at the extreme toll that our unsafe roads take on our families and friends will hopefully lead us all to take more care on any local street or highway.

U.S. Vehicle Accidents Per Day and Per Year

In recent years, the annual total of car accidents across the nation has remained far too high. They’ve generally only taken a noticeable dip during the 2020 pandemic year when so many people stayed off the road.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) researchers found that once the pandemic was over, road travel made a big comeback. Driving hazards also returned.

  • In 2021, there were 8.1% more vehicle miles traveled and as a result, a 9.4% rise in people injured in accidents.
  • In 2021, the NHTSA documented that 2,497,657 were injured in U.S. traffic collisions. That was a jump from 2020 numbers when 2,282,209 people suffered injuries along U.S roads.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Statistics Page provides a more exact view of just how many car accidents Americans find themselves in each year.

6,103,000 car accidents across the U.S. in 2021.

With these figures provided, it’s very simple to divide those yearly accidents by 365 days. The result is the average number of traffic accidents in the United States on any given day. In 2021 there were on average over 17,000 accidents a day recorded by law enforcement across our nation.

On average, 17,143 accidents a day across the U.S. in 2021.

Fatal Accidents Per Day in the United States

In a 5-year span before the 2020 pandemic (2015-2019), the CDC reported that on average 36,791 people were killed each year in motor vehicle crashes. That equated to an average of 101 victims each day. The CDC confirms that crashes then and now are still the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Unfortunately, those figures have only risen since 2020 and right up to the start of 2023. The NHTSA broke down the astonishing numbers so that every driver could see how much of an impact their actions and their lack of focus can make.

42,795 lives lost in U.S. traffic accidents in 2022.


The tragic rise in fatal accidents since 2020 can be broken down into their toll on human lives each and every day. In 2021 and 2022 around 117 people tragically lost their lives every 24 hours. These figures are more than statistics. They represent the loss of a precious life and the grief of family and friends who suddenly have a loved one missing from their lives.


On average 117 victims lost in U.S. traffic accidents each day in 2022.


According to the  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 62% of crash fatalities in 2021 were passenger vehicle occupants, 17% were pedestrians, 14% were motorcyclists, 2% were bicyclists, and 2% were occupants in large trucks.

Additional Facts About Deadly Accidents in the United States:

  • The NHTSA found that 6 p.m. to 8:59 p.m. and nine p.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Saturday nights proved to be the deadliest periods to be out on U.S. roads, at least when examining the statistics from 2020.
  • In 2020, large trucks were involved in 8.9 of fatal accidents.

Hope for a Safer 2023 on U.S. Roads

Fortunately, there is always hope for a renewed understanding from drivers about their critical responsibilities as they travel U.S. Interstates, highways, and city streets. With some awareness of the frightening toll car crashes take on every community, drivers can take action to end 2023 and begin 2024 on a positive note.

That would mean far fewer preventable traffic accidents. A reduction in distracted driving involving the use of cell phones would go a long way in helping reduce the chances of dangerous collisions. When more drunk drivers are halted before they can start up their cars, a dramatic difference will show up in annual fatal crash statistics.

These and other changes in behavior can start a downward trend in car collisions and allow motorists a better chance of getting home safely in the years ahead.


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