Yearly snapshot | 2009

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among Americans ages 3-34 combined. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. 2010. WISQARS leading cause of death reports, 1999-2007. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available: http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/leadcaus10.html. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the total societal cost of crashes exceeds $200 billion annually. Blincoe, L.J.; Seay, A.G.; Zaloshnja, E.; Miller, T.R.; Romano, E.O.; Luchter, S.; and Spicer R.S. 2002. The economic impact of motor vehicle crashes 2000. Report no. DOT HS-809-446. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Contributing to the death toll are alcohol, speeding, lack of safety belt use, and other problematic driver behaviors. Death rates vary by vehicle type, driver age and gender, and other factors.

In 1975, the U.S. Department of Transportation started an annual census of motor vehicle deaths, recording information on crash type, vehicle type, road type, driver characteristics, and a variety of other factors. Institute researchers analyze these data each year to quantify the public health problem of motor vehicle deaths.

The following facts are based on analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Trends

A total of 33,808 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2009. These deaths occurred in 30,797 crashes involving 45,435 motor vehicles. This was the lowest loss of life on our highways since 1975, the first year national records on fatal crashes were collected.

Number of deaths, crashes, and motor vehicles in fatal crashes, 1975-2009
Year Deaths Crashes Motor vehicles
1975 44,525 39,161 55,534
1976 45,523 39,747 56,084
1977 47,878 42,211 60,516
1978 50,331 44,433 64,144
1979 51,093 45,223 64,762
1980 51,091 45,284 63,485
1981 49,301 44,000 62,699
1982 43,945 39,092 56,455
1983 42,589 37,976 55,106
1984 44,257 39,631 57,972
1985 43,825 39,196 58,272
1986 46,087 41,090 60,792
1987 46,390 41,438 61,836
1988 47,087 42,130 62,703
1989 45,582 40,741 60,870
1990 44,599 39,836 59,292
1991 41,508 36,937 54,795
1992 39,250 34,942 52,227
1993 40,150 35,780 53,777
1994 40,716 36,254 54,911
1995 41,817 37,241 56,524
1996 42,065 37,494 57,347
1997 42,013 37,324 57,060
1998 41,501 37,107 56,922
1999 41,717 37,140 56,820
2000 41,945 37,526 57,594
2001 42,196 37,862 57,918
2002 43,005 38,491 58,426
2003 42,884 38,477 58,877
2004 42,836 38,444 58,729
2005 43,510 39,252 59,495
2006 42,708 38,648 58,094
2007 41,259 37,435 56,253
2008 37,423 34,172 50,660
2009 33,808 30,797 45,435

Although the U.S. population has been growing steadily since 1975, the rate of motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 population has declined by 47 percent. During the 35 years in which national fatal crash data have been collected, the death rate per 100,000 population in 2009 was as low as or the lowest it has ever been in every category but motorcyclists

Motor vehicle crash deaths and deaths per 100,000 people, 1975-2009

Motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people by type, 1975-2009
Year Population Passenger vehicle occupants Pedestrians Motorcyclists Bicyclists Large truck occupants All motor vehicle deaths*
Num Rate Num Rate Num Rate Num Rate Num Rate Num Rate
1975 215,973,199 30,601 14.2 7,516 3.5 3,106 1.4 1,003 0.5 916 0.4 44,525 20.6
1976 218,035,164 31,724 14.5 7,427 3.4 3,232 1.5 914 0.4 1,100 0.5 45,523 20.9
1977 220,239,425 32,823 14.9 7,732 3.5 4,004 1.8 922 0.4 1,229 0.6 47,878 21.7
1978 222,584,545 34,923 15.7 7,795 3.5 4,448 2.0 892 0.4 1,315 0.6 50,331 22.6
1979 225,055,487 35,026 15.6 8,096 3.6 4,712 2.1 932 0.4 1,372 0.6 51,093 22.7
1980 227,224,719 34,996 15.4 8,070 3.6 4,955 2.2 965 0.4 1,183 0.5 51,091 22.5
1981 229,465,608 33,711 14.7 7,837 3.4 4,737 2.1 936 0.4 1,082 0.5 49,301 21.5
1982 231,664,496 29,656 12.8 7,331 3.2 4,267 1.8 864 0.4 917 0.4 43,945 19.0
1983 233,791,903 29,154 12.5 6,826 2.9 4,099 1.8 830 0.4 960 0.4 42,589 18.2
1984 235,824,783 30,093 12.8 7,025 3.0 4,425 1.9 838 0.4 1,040 0.4 44,257 18.8
1985 237,923,732 29,847 12.5 6,808 2.9 4,415 1.9 869 0.4 941 0.4 43,825 18.4
1986 240,132,841 32,224 13.4 6,779 2.8 4,309 1.8 929 0.4 892 0.4 46,087 19.2
1987 242,289,023 33,145 13.7 6,745 2.8 3,832 1.6 940 0.4 821 0.3 46,390 19.1
1988 244,498,836 34,105 13.9 6,870 2.8 3,491 1.4 901 0.4 886 0.4 47,087 19.3
1989 246,819,119 33,599 13.6 6,556 2.7 3,030 1.2 822 0.3 822 0.3 45,582 18.5
1990 249,464,396 32,711 13.1 6,482 2.6 3,128 1.3 853 0.3 684 0.3 44,599 17.9
1991 252,153,092 30,810 12.2 5,801 2.3 2,702 1.1 836 0.3 650 0.3 41,508 16.5
1992 255,029,699 29,457 11.6 5,549 2.2 2,291 0.9 717 0.3 580 0.2 39,250 15.4
1993 257,782,608 29,994 11.6 5,649 2.2 2,346 0.9 806 0.3 590 0.2 40,150 15.6
1994 260,327,021 30,820 11.8 5,489 2.1 2,215 0.9 796 0.3 658 0.3 40,716 15.6
1995 262,803,276 31,913 12.1 5,584 2.1 2,138 0.8 828 0.3 634 0.2 41,817 15.9
1996 265,228,572 32,354 12.2 5,449 2.1 2,077 0.8 761 0.3 602 0.2 42,065 15.9
1997 267,783,607 32,343 12.1 5,321 2.0 2,056 0.8 811 0.3 717 0.3 42,013 15.7
1998 270,248,003 31,781 11.8 5,228 1.9 2,227 0.8 757 0.3 739 0.3 41,501 15.4
1999 272,690,813 32,008 11.7 4,939 1.8 2,419 0.9 750 0.3 747 0.3 41,717 15.3
2000 282,192,162 32,109 11.4 4,763 1.7 2,829 1.0 689 0.2 737 0.3 41,945 14.9
2001 285,102,075 31,938 11.2 4,901 1.7 3,123 1.1 729 0.3 691 0.2 42,196 14.8
2002 287,941,220 32,724 11.4 4,851 1.7 3,187 1.1 663 0.2 675 0.2 43,005 14.9
2003 290,788,976 32,166 11.1 4,774 1.6 3,641 1.3 626 0.2 703 0.2 42,884 14.7
2004 293,655,404 31,750 10.8 4,675 1.6 3,904 1.3 722 0.2 743 0.3 42,836 14.6
2005 296,410,404 31,455 10.6 4,892 1.7 4,460 1.5 784 0.3 758 0.3 43,510 14.7
2006 299,398,484 30,628 10.2 4,795 1.6 4,699 1.6 769 0.3 774 0.3 42,708 14.3
2007 301,621,157 29,155 9.7 4,699 1.6 5,050 1.7 699 0.2 745 0.2 41,259 13.7
2008 304,059,724 25,547 8.4 4,414 1.5 5,112 1.7 716 0.2 615 0.2 37,423 12.3
2009 307,006,550 23,437 7.6 4,092 1.3 4,281 1.4 630 0.2 457 0.1 33,808 11.0
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Sixty-nine percent of motor vehicle fatalities in 2009 were passenger vehicle occupants, 12 percent were pedestrians, 13 percent were motorcyclists, 2 percent were bicyclists, and 1 percent were occupants of large trucks.

Motor vehicle crash deaths by type, 1975-2009
Year Passenger vehicle occupants Pedestrians Motorcyclists Bicyclists Large truck occupants Other All motor vehicle deaths
Num % Num % Num % Num % Num % Num % Num
1975 30,601 69 7,516 17 3,106 7 1,003 2 916 2 1,383 3 44,525
1976 31,724 70 7,427 16 3,232 7 914 2 1,100 2 1,126 2 45,523
1977 32,823 69 7,732 16 4,004 8 922 2 1,229 3 1,168 2 47,878
1978 34,923 69 7,795 15 4,448 9 892 2 1,315 3 958 2 50,331
1979 35,026 69 8,096 16 4,712 9 932 2 1,372 3 955 2 51,093
1980 34,996 68 8,070 16 4,955 10 965 2 1,183 2 922 2 51,091
1981 33,711 68 7,837 16 4,737 10 936 2 1,082 2 998 2 49,301
1982 29,656 67 7,331 17 4,267 10 864 2 917 2 910 2 43,945
1983 29,154 68 6,826 16 4,099 10 830 2 960 2 720 2 42,589
1984 30,093 68 7,025 16 4,425 10 838 2 1,040 2 836 2 44,257
1985 29,847 68 6,808 16 4,415 10 869 2 941 2 945 2 43,825
1986 32,224 70 6,779 15 4,309 9 929 2 892 2 954 2 46,087
1987 33,145 71 6,745 15 3,832 8 940 2 821 2 907 2 46,390
1988 34,105 72 6,870 15 3,491 7 901 2 886 2 834 2 47,087
1989 33,599 74 6,556 14 3,030 7 822 2 822 2 753 2 45,582
1990 32,711 73 6,482 15 3,128 7 853 2 684 2 741 2 44,599
1991 30,810 74 5,801 14 2,702 7 836 2 650 2 709 2 41,508
1992 29,457 75 5,549 14 2,291 6 717 2 580 1 656 2 39,250
1993 29,994 75 5,649 14 2,346 6 806 2 590 1 765 2 40,150
1994 30,820 76 5,489 13 2,215 5 796 2 658 2 738 2 40,716
1995 31,913 76 5,584 13 2,138 5 828 2 634 2 720 2 41,817
1996 32,354 77 5,449 13 2,077 5 761 2 602 1 822 2 42,065
1997 32,343 77 5,321 13 2,056 5 811 2 717 2 765 2 42,013
1998 31,781 77 5,228 13 2,227 5 757 2 739 2 769 2 41,501
1999 32,008 77 4,939 12 2,419 6 750 2 747 2 854 2 41,717
2000 32,109 77 4,763 11 2,829 7 689 2 737 2 818 2 41,945
2001 31,938 76 4,901 12 3,123 7 729 2 691 2 814 2 42,196
2002 32,724 76 4,851 11 3,187 7 663 2 675 2 905 2 43,005
2003 32,166 75 4,774 11 3,641 8 626 1 703 2 974 2 42,884
2004 31,750 74 4,675 11 3,904 9 722 2 743 2 1,042 2 42,836
2005 31,455 72 4,892 11 4,460 10 784 2 758 2 1,161 3 43,510
2006 30,628 72 4,795 11 4,699 11 769 2 774 2 1,043 2 42,708
2007 29,155 71 4,699 11 5,050 12 699 2 745 2 911 2 41,259
2008 25,547 68 4,414 12 5,112 14 716 2 615 2 1,019 3 37,423
2009 23,437 69 4,092 12 4,281 13 630 2 457 1 911 3 33,808

In 2009, the rate of motor vehicle crash deaths per 100 million miles traveled reached an all-time low of 1.14. This is compared to a rate of 3.35 in 1975. Federal Highway Administration. 2010. Highway statistics, 2008. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation.

Motor vehicle crash deaths and deaths per 100 million miles traveled, 1975-2009

Motor vehicle crash deaths per 100 million miles traveled, 1975-2008
Year Deaths Miles travelled (millions) Rate
1975 44,525 1,330,074 3.35
1976 45,523 1,409,163 3.23
1977 47,878 1,476,567 3.24
1978 50,331 1,548,213 3.25
1979 51,093 1,529,133 3.34
1980 51,091 1,520,857 3.36
1981 49,301 1,550,271 3.18
1982 43,945 1,592,481 2.76
1983 42,589 1,649,106 2.58
1984 44,257 1,716,768 2.58
1985 43,825 1,774,762 2.47
1986 46,087 1,838,240 2.51
1987 46,390 1,924,327 2.41
1988 47,087 2,025,586 2.32
1989 45,582 2,107,040 2.16
1990 44,599 2,147,501 2.08
1991 41,508 2,172,214 1.91
1992 39,250 2,239,828 1.75
1993 40,150 2,296,585 1.75
1994 40,716 2,357,588 1.73
1995 41,817 2,422,775 1.73
1996 42,065 2,482,202 1.69
1997 42,013 2,560,373 1.64
1998 41,501 2,625,367 1.58
1999 41,717 2,691,335 1.55
2000 41,945 2,749,803 1.53
2001 42,196 2,781,462 1.52
2002 43,005 2,855,756 1.51
2003 42,884 2,890,893 1.48
2004 42,836 2,962,513 1.45
2005 43,510 2,989,807 1.46
2006 42,708 3,014,116 1.42
2007 41,259 3,032,399 1.36
2008 37,423 2,973,509 1.26

Age and gender

At all ages, males had higher per capita crash death rates than females in 2009. Males ages 20-24 and 85 and older had the highest rates of motor vehicle crash deaths.

Motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people by age and gender, 2009
Age Male Female Total*
Population Deaths Rate Population Deaths Rate Population Deaths Rate
< 13 27,482,042 571 2.1 26,271,370 490 1.9 53,753,412 1,062 2.0
13-15 6,281,249 277 4.4 5,981,928 199 3.3 12,263,177 476 3.9
16-19 8,933,428 1,937 21.7 8,470,674 1,052 12.4 17,404,102 2,990 17.2
20-24 11,093,552 3,207 28.9 10,446,007 1,021 9.8 21,539,559 4,229 19.6
25-29 11,115,560 2,487 22.4 10,562,159 797 7.5 21,677,719 3,284 15.1
30-34 10,107,974 1,781 17.6 9,780,629 624 6.4 19,888,603 2,405 12.1
35-39 10,353,016 1,732 16.7 10,185,335 596 5.9 20,538,351 2,328 11.3
40-44 10,504,139 1,855 17.7 10,487,466 643 6.1 20,991,605 2,498 11.9
45-49 11,295,524 2,048 18.1 11,535,568 774 6.7 22,831,092 2,822 12.4
50-54 10,677,847 1,916 17.9 11,083,544 659 5.9 21,761,391 2,575 11.8
55-59 9,204,666 1,477 16.0 9,770,360 578 5.9 18,975,026 2,055 10.8
60-64 7,576,933 1,230 16.2 8,234,990 496 6.0 15,811,923 1,726 10.9
65-69 5,511,164 862 15.6 6,273,156 445 7.1 11,784,320 1,307 11.1
70-74 4,082,226 661 16.2 4,925,521 406 8.2 9,007,747 1,067 11.8
75-79 3,149,236 594 18.9 4,176,292 387 9.3 7,325,528 981 13.4
80-84 2,298,260 561 24.4 3,524,074 467 13.3 5,822,334 1,028 17.7
≥ 85 1,782,674 492 27.6 3,847,987 413 10.7 5,630,661 905 16.1
Total* 151,449,490 23,726 15.7 155,557,060 10,070 6.5 307,006,550 33,808 11.0
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

From 1975 to 2009, the rate of deaths per 100,000 people declined by 75 percent for people 12 and younger ( from 7.9 to 2.0 per 100,000), 60 percent for teenagers (from 29.4 to 11.7 per 100,000), 47 percent for people ages 20-34 (from 29.6 to 15.7 per 100,000), 34 percent for people ages 35-69 (from 17.5 to 11.5), and 45 percent for people 70 and older (from 25.9 to 14.3 per 100,000).

Motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 people by age group,1975-2009
  < 13 13-19 20-34 35-69 ≥ 70
Population Num Rate Population Num Rate Population Num Rate Population Num Rate Population Num Rate
1975 45,851,304 3,643 7.9 29,795,023 8,748 29.4 50,998,098 15,074 29.6 74,764,829 13,080 17.5 14,563,945 3,775 25.9
1976 45,000,704 3,424 7.6 29,909,414 9,356 31.3 52,745,005 15,517 29.4 75,419,921 13,137 17.4 14,960,120 3,896 26.0
1977 44,337,332 3,347 7.5 29,800,313 9,633 32.3 54,497,448 17,287 31.7 76,203,083 13,460 17.7 15,401,249 3,859 25.1
1978 43,907,467 3,367 7.7 29,543,252 9,940 33.6 55,909,063 18,886 33.8 77,348,222 14,020 18.1 15,876,541 3,824 24.1
1979 43,778,959 3,171 7.2 29,077,607 9,920 34.1 57,499,197 19,675 34.2 78,311,107 14,232 18.2 16,388,617 3,772 23.0
1980 43,914,342 3,048 6.9 28,486,487 9,524 33.4 58,814,391 20,110 34.2 79,111,522 14,219 18.0 16,897,977 3,861 22.8
1981 44,049,940 2,733 6.2 27,743,947 8,315 30.0 60,563,416 19,887 32.8 79,785,591 13,950 17.5 17,322,714 3,871 22.3
1982 44,131,596 2,573 5.8 27,160,586 7,323 27.0 61,099,524 17,465 28.6 81,488,902 12,685 15.6 17,783,888 3,655 20.6
1983 44,119,297 2,518 5.7 26,737,497 6,805 25.5 61,840,154 16,853 27.3 82,861,204 12,488 15.1 18,233,751 3,734 20.5
1984 43,978,044 2,422 5.5 26,435,885 6,952 26.3 62,491,255 17,579 28.1 84,256,661 13,006 15.4 18,662,938 4,052 21.7
1985 44,260,136 2,469 5.6 26,001,247 6,737 25.9 62,961,154 17,031 27.1 85,628,410 13,126 15.3 19,072,785 4,206 22.1
1986 44,755,454 2,537 5.7 25,592,481 7,466 29.2 63,115,889 18,132 28.7 87,205,537 13,263 15.2 19,463,480 4,445 22.8
1987 45,348,247 2,654 5.9 25,209,615 7,293 28.9 63,032,298 17,676 28.0 88,808,046 14,074 15.8 19,890,817 4,555 22.9
1988 45,942,966 2,701 5.9 25,004,445 7,242 29.0 62,784,739 17,613 28.1 90,464,406 14,458 16.0 20,302,280 4,925 24.3
1989 46,690,604 2,658 5.7 24,664,300 6,688 27.1 62,494,056 16,512 26.4 92,250,762 14,651 15.9 20,719,397 4,943 23.9
1990 47,472,527 2,332 4.9 24,404,795 6,364 26.1 62,282,683 16,366 26.3 94,140,108 14,568 15.5 21,164,283 4,844 22.9
1991 48,240,747 2,257 4.7 24,066,587 5,760 23.9 62,025,750 14,949 24.1 96,068,111 13,587 14.1 21,751,897 4,843 22.3
1992 48,903,668 2,165 4.4 24,163,175 5,215 21.6 61,427,100 13,445 21.9 98,214,539 13,414 13.7 22,321,217 4,901 22.0
1993 49,335,864 2,164 4.4 24,664,091 5,421 22.0 60,582,332 13,456 22.2 100,399,648 13,748 13.7 22,800,673 5,221 22.9
1994 49,692,462 2,301 4.6 25,219,838 5,632 22.3 59,629,351 13,020 21.8 102,541,525 14,251 13.9 23,243,845 5,425 23.3
1995 49,920,484 2,201 4.4 25,764,300 5,675 22.0 58,712,407 13,330 22.7 104,712,328 15,018 14.3 23,693,757 5,509 23.3
1996 50,085,188 2,186 4.4 26,357,198 5,819 22.1 57,753,910 12,869 22.3 106,975,953 15,496 14.5 24,056,323 5,578 23.2
1997 50,364,983 2,108 4.2 26,730,812 5,730 21.4 57,046,569 12,334 21.6 109,232,426 15,860 14.5 24,408,817 5,872 24.1
1998 50,527,476 2,032 4.0 27,174,728 5,610 20.6 56,421,053 11,785 20.9 111,331,195 16,185 14.5 24,793,551 5,798 23.4
1999 50,667,139 1,997 3.9 27,518,156 5,752 20.9 55,961,401 11,840 21.2 113,451,312 16,384 14.4 25,092,805 5,657 22.5
2000 52,219,423 1,888 3.6 28,326,412 5,685 20.1 58,971,709 12,174 20.6 117,114,739 16,700 14.3 25,559,879 5,379 21.0
2001 52,341,395 1,751 3.3 28,437,711 5,594 19.7 59,465,066 12,375 20.8 119,060,436 16,934 14.2 25,797,467 5,425 21.0
2002 52,332,306 1,617 3.1 28,644,313 5,954 20.8 60,046,068 12,609 21.0 120,913,207 17,374 14.4 26,005,326 5,332 20.5
2003 52,187,602 1,643 3.1 29,028,500 5,718 19.7 60,599,350 12,365 20.4 122,772,578 17,705 14.4 26,200,946 5,363 20.5
2004 52,151,406 1,645 3.2 29,400,392 5,645 19.2 61,003,240 12,620 20.7 124,762,848 17,707 14.2 26,337,518 5,106 19.4
2005 52,149,395 1,529 2.9 29,589,854 5,300 17.9 61,180,772 13,023 21.3 126,831,714 18,491 14.6 26,658,669 5,047 18.9
2006 52,306,908 1,430 2.7 29,772,198 5,159 17.3 61,527,219 13,142 21.4 128,907,361 18,233 14.1 26,884,798 4,636 17.2
2007 52,585,809 1,269 2.4 29,775,943 4,981 16.7 61,623,322 12,531 20.3 130,500,566 17,725 13.6 27,135,517 4,631 17.1
2008 52,929,779 1,047 2.0 29,710,307 4,070 13.7 61,990,546 11,406 18.4 131,908,058 16,538 12.5 27,521,034 4,291 15.6
2009 53,753,412 1,062 2.0 29,667,279 3,466 11.7 63,105,881 9,918 15.7 132,693,708 15,311 11.5 27,786,270 3,981 14.3

Seat belt use

According to a national daytime observational survey of motorists, seat belt use was 85 percent among front seat occupants in 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2010. Seat belt use in 2010-overall results. Report no. DOT HS-811-378. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation. and 74 percent among rear seat occupants in 2008. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2009. Seat belt use in rear seats in 2008. Report no. DOT HS-811-133. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation. Unrestrained vehicle occupants are more likely than restrained occupants to be fatally injured in a crash so that belt use is much lower among fatally injured occupants. Among fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants 13 and older in 2009, 44 percent of drivers and 40 percent of passengers were belted.

Seat belt use among fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants 13 and older by seating position, 1990-2009
Year Driver Passenger
Belt used Unbelted Unknown Belt used Unbelted Unknown
Num % Num % Num % Num % Num % Num %
1990 4,638 21 15,053 69 2,253 10 1,830 20 6,561 70 976 10
1991 4,976 24 13,585 66 1,982 10 1,997 22 6,030 68 851 10
1992 5,255 27 12,477 64 1,827 9 2,042 24 5,701 67 790 9
1993 5,877 29 12,220 61 1,925 10 2,375 27 5,492 64 778 9
1994 6,538 32 12,332 60 1,759 9 2,564 29 5,423 62 731 8
1995 6,973 33 12,692 59 1,772 8 2,642 29 5,577 62 791 9
1996 7,368 34 12,331 57 1,919 9 2,750 30 5,706 62 807 9
1997 7,561 35 12,288 57 1,847 9 2,867 31 5,497 60 810 9
1998 7,797 36 12,033 56 1,786 8 2,814 32 5,169 59 725 8
1999 7,834 36 12,252 56 1,793 8 2,748 32 5,249 60 700 8
2000 8,199 38 11,841 54 1,754 8 2,957 33 5,212 58 744 8
2001 8,509 39 11,638 53 1,700 8 2,844 32 5,178 59 737 8
2002 8,786 39 12,028 53 1,705 8 3,151 35 5,093 57 687 8
2003 9,239 42 11,274 51 1,666 8 3,127 36 4,851 55 773 9
2004 9,456 43 11,027 50 1,450 7 3,132 37 4,768 56 622 7
2005 9,315 42 11,133 51 1,489 7 3,122 38 4,551 55 634 8
2006 9,162 42 10,874 50 1,532 7 2,964 38 4,250 54 678 9
2007 8,915 43 10,070 49 1,537 7 2,902 38 4,007 53 681 9
2008 7,794 43 9,160 50 1,301 7 2,536 39 3,495 54 473 7
2009 7,392 44 8,180 49 1,211 7 2,346 40 3,013 52 461 8

Speeding

In 2009, speeding was a factor in 31 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths. Speeding has been a factor in about one-third of crash deaths since 2000. Speeding was defined to include crashes in which the driver was issued a traffic citation for speeding or in which driver-related factors coded indicated speed as a factor (driving too fast for conditions, racing, or exceeding the posted speed limit).

Motor vehicle crash deaths involving speeding as a contributing factor, 2000-2009
  Speeding-related Not speeding-related Total
Num % Num % Num
2000 12,552 30 29,393 70 41,945
2001 12,924 31 29,272 69 42,196
2002 13,799 32 29,206 68 43,005
2003 13,499 31 29,385 69 42,884
2004 13,291 31 29,545 69 42,836
2005 13,583 31 29,927 69 43,510
2006 13,609 32 29,099 68 42,708
2007 13,140 32 28,119 68 41,259
2008 11,767 31 25,656 69 37,423
2009 10,591 31 23,217 69 33,808

In 2009, the percentage of crash deaths involving speeding was higher on minor roads (39 percent) than on interstates and freeways (31 percent) or on other major roads (28 percent).

Crash deaths involving speeding as a contributing factor by road type, 2009
  Speeding-related Not speeding-related Total
Num % Num % Num
Interstates and freeways 1,279 31 2,796 69 4,075
Other major roads 5,215 28 13,672 72 18,887
Minor roads 3,589 39 5,575 61 9,164
All road types* 10,591 31 23,217 69 33,808
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

When they died

In 2009, February had the lowest number of crash deaths.

Motor vehicle crash deaths by month, 2009
Month Deaths %
January 2,608 8
February 2,351 7
March 2,580 8
April 2,867 8
May 3,044 9
June 3,059 9
July 3,043 9
August 3,161 9
September 2,890 9
October 2,881 9
November 2,727 8
December 2,597 8
Total 33,808 100

In 2009, 51 percent of crash deaths occurred on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Motor vehicle crash deaths by day of week, 2009
Day of week Deaths %
Sunday 5,549 16
Monday 4,129 12
Tuesday 3,909 12
Wednesday 4,054 12
Thursday 4,390 13
Friday 5,333 16
Saturday 6,444 19
Total 33,808 100

In 2009, crash deaths occurred most often between 3pm and 9pm (32 percent).

Motor vehicle crash deaths by time of day, 2009
Time of day Deaths %
Midnight-3am 4,378 13
3am-6am 2,824 8
6am-9am 3,041 9
9am-noon 3,236 10
Noon-3pm 4,404 13
3pm-6pm 5,468 16
6pm-9pm 5,420 16
9pm-midnight 4,767 14
Total* 33,808 100
*Total includes other and/or unknowns


References