Preliminary numbers from the National Safety Council (NSC) estimate roughly 40,000 people lost their lives to car crashes in 2018, a 1% difference from 2017 (40,231 deaths) and 2016 (40,327 deaths). This marks the third consecutive year where motor vehicle fatalities have topped 40,000, the first time this has occurred since the Great Depression.
Approximately 4.5 million people were seriously injured in crashes in 2018 — also a 1% decrease from 2017.
NSC estimates the annual population death rate is 12.19 deaths per 100,000 population, and the annual mileage death rate is 1.24 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
Medically consulted injuries in motor vehicle incidents totaled 4.6 million in 2017, and total motor vehicle injury costs were estimated at $433.8 billion. Costs include wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, motor-vehicle property damage and employer costs.
NSC doesn’t analyze causation in their yearly motor vehicle estimates, however, 2017 data shows spikes in deaths among pedestrians, while distraction continues to be involved in 8% of crashes, and drowsy driving in an additional 2%.
Additional details about NSC’s preliminary estimates can be found on the motor vehicle section of their website.