Number of U.S. road traffic-related injuries and fatalities 1990-2017

Between 2011 and 2017, road traffic injuries in the United States grew by about 530,000 incidents to some 2.7 million road traffic-related injuries in 2017. Over the same period, fatalities had also increased by about 5,000. This follows two decades of a general decrease in the amount of traffic-related injuries.

Why are traffic injuries increasing?

In the United States, male drivers are behind the wheel in the majority of fatal crashes. Speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol have often been to blame, neither have led to a rise in traffic fatalities in the U.S. Instead, cellphones are primarily the cause. Smartphone ownership has become almost omnipresent in the U.S. since 2011, and drivers are likely to be distracted by texting and using social media. Young drivers are the ones accounting for the highest share of cellphone use fatalities. Another reason why fatal accidents are rising in number is that non-occupants’ exposure to risk is also increasing. As residents become more encouraged to walk or cycle in cities, the extra time amongst traffic has led to higher rates of fatalities and injuries amongst cyclists and pedestrians. Lastly, poor infrastructure and lack of awareness by motorists is prevalent in large parts of the United States.

Number of road traffic-related injuries and fatalities in the U.S. from 1990 to 2017

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Source

Release date

2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

1990 to 2017

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Statistics on "Unintentional injury in the U.S."

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