Auto Accident Statistics

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In 2002, 42,815 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes -an increase of 1.5 percent from 2001 (42,196). The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2002 was 1.51. The injury rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2002 was 103.

The fatality rate per 100,000 population was 14.85 in 2002, slightly higher than the 2001 rate of 14.79. An average of 117 persons died each day in motor vehicle crashes in 2002- one every 12 minutes. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for every age from 2 through 33 years old.

Vehicle occupants accounted for 87 percent of traffic fatalities in 2002. The remaining 13 percent were pedestrians, pedalcyclists, and other nonoccupants.

For more information:

Information on traffic safety is available from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, NPO-121, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590. NCSA information can also be obtained by telephone or by fax-on-demand at 1-800-934-8517. FAX messages should be sent to (202) 366-7078.

General information on highway traffic safety can be accessed by Internet users at http://www- To report a safety-related problem or to inquire about motor vehicle safety information, contact the Auto Safety Hotline at

Sources: Vehicle Miles of Travel and Licensed Drivers - Federal Highway Administration; Registered Vehicles - R.L. Polk & Co. and Federal Highway Administration; Population - U.S. Bureau of the Census.

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