Close this search box.

What Is the Most Common Cause of Car Crash Deaths?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36,096 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2019, which is actually down 2.0 percent from 2018. Drunk driving could be attributed to almost a third of those fatalities.

Drunk Driving Statistics

  • 10,142 people were killed in alcohol-impaired accidents in 2019. (NHTSA)
  • 30 people in the U.S die every day in car crashes with an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 50 minutes. (CDC)
  • Drunk driving cost the U.S. $132 billion in 2011. (MADD)
  • 10,511 people died in alcohol-related accidents in 2018. (NHTSA)
  • In 2017, more than 10,800 people were killed in drunk driving incidents. (NHTSA)
  • In 2016, 10,497 people were killed in crashes involving drunk drivers. These deaths accounted for 28% of all U.S traffic-related fatalities. (CDC)
  • Over 10,000 Americans a year are killed by drunk drivers, and approximately 1,000 of them are children. (CDC)
  • As of last year (2020), about 290,000 are injured in drunk driving accidents every year. (NHTSA)

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

Alcohol adversely affects your ability to drive as soon as you have your first drink. If you drive while impaired, you are putting your own life and the lives of others at risk. Drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of over 0.10 are seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than sober drivers. Alcohol often leads to increased risk-taking, such as speeding, failing to wear a seat belt, and recklessness. Impaired drivers are given a false sense of confidence and being in control but have difficulty maintaining a constant speed and trajectory. Their attention and concentration on the road also decrease, and their judgment is impaired. Vision and hearing are often altered, reaction times are slower, they have poor physical coordination, and they may feel drowsy.

Other Leading Causes of Car Crash Deaths


A driver is considered speeding if they travel above the posted speed limit or at a speed that makes operating a vehicle unsafe for certain road conditions. Driving too fast for roadway conditions or excessive speeding are leading causes of traffic fatalities across the country. Speeding was responsible for killing 9,478 in 2019. At higher speeds, a driver’s reaction time reduces, as does their overall control of the vehicle. As speed increases, so does the force of impact, creating a hazardous situation for other drivers. Attempts to slow down or stop to avoid a crash are limited, which increases the risk of deadly injury to all involved.

Distracted Driving

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nine people die every day from distracted driving. The NHTSA reports that 3,142 deaths in 2019 were attributed to distracted driving. Texting while driving is the most alarming distraction since sending or reading a text can take your eyes and hands off the road for five seconds. If a vehicle is traveling at 55 mph, it can be compared to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

If one of your loved ones has passed away in a car crash you may be entitled to compensation. The Car Accident Attorneys at the LaBovick Law Group are here to help. Contact us today.

Free Case Evaluation all fields required *