Facts + Statistics: Highway safety

The cost and crashworthiness of vehicles as well as drivers’ safety habits affect the cost of auto insurance. Out of concern for public safety and to help reduce the cost of crashes, insurers support safe driving initiatives. The insurance industry is a major supporter of anti-drunk driving and seatbelt usage campaigns.

Lives saved by safety devices

  • Airbags: Airbags are designed to inflate in moderate to severe frontal crashes. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the federal government has required auto manufacturers to install driver and passenger airbags for frontal protection in all cars since the 1999 model year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that frontal airbags saved the lives of 2,790 occupants age 13 and older in 2017. Airbags, combined with seatbelts, are the most effective safety protection available for passenger vehicles. Seatbelts alone reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent. The fatality-reducing effectiveness for frontal airbags is 14 percent when no seatbelt is used and 11 percent when a seatbelt is used in conjunction with airbags.
  • Seatbelts: Among passenger vehicle occupants age five and older, seatbelts saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017. In fatal crashes in 2017, about 83 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from the vehicle were killed. NHTSA says that when used seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent. For light truck occupants, the risk is reduced by 60 percent and 65 percent, respectively.
  • Child safety seats: NHTSA says that in 2017 the lives of an estimated 325 children under the age of five were saved by restraints.
  • Motorcycle helmets: NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists in 2017. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 749 lives could have been saved.
  • Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41 percent for motorcycle passengers. In other words, for every 100 motorcycle riders killed in crashes while not wearing a helmet, 37 of them could have been saved had all 100 worn helmets.
  • Electronic stability control: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires all vehicles manufactured after model year 2012 to have electronic stability control (ESC). All new passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs and vans must comply with the requirement. ESC was designed to help prevent rollovers and other types of crashes by controlling brakes and engine power.
  • NHTSA says ESC saved about 1,949 passenger car occupant lives in 2015 including 857 passenger car occupants, and 1,091 lives among light truck and van occupants. The 2015 total for lives compares with 1,575 lives saved in 2014 and 1,380 lives saved in 2013. Over the five years from 2011 to 2015, NHTSA says the ESC has saved a total of more than 7,000 lives.

Motor vehicle crashes

2021: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a statistical projection of traffic fatalities for the first half of 2021 that shows an 18.4 percent increase in the number of Americans who died in motor vehicle crashes compared to the same six-month period in 2020. This increase follows the estimated 7.2 percent increase in crash deaths recorded in 2020, see below. The 2021 first half increase was the highest number for the first six months period since 2006 and the highest half-year percentage increase on record. NHTSA also noted that crash deaths in the second quarter of 2021 were the highest for a second quarter since 1990 an the highest quarterly percent change, 23 percent, in history. Early data also show that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the first half of 2021 rose about 13.0 percent, compared with the first half of 2020. The fatality rate for the first half of 2021 increased to 1.34 fatalities per 100 million VMT, up from the estimated rate of 1.28 fatalities per 100 million VMT in the first half of 2020. However, the fatality rate in the second quarter of 2021 fell, which represents the first decline in year-to-year quarterly fatality rates the fourth quarter of 2019.

2020: A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for 2020 from NHTSA shows that an estimated 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traf­fic crashes, up 7.2 percent from 36,096 fatalities in 2019. The increase in fatalities occurred despite vehicle miles traveled falling about 13.2 percent in 2020 from a year prior as stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic were in effect. As a result the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled soared to 1.37 from 1.11 in 2019 to the highest level since 2007. According to the Triple-I the increase in traffic fatalities per 100 vehicle miles traveled was likely caused by faster driving.

Earlier preliminary data from the National Safety Council (NSC) showed that an estimated 42,060 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020, up 8 percent from 2019. The death rate based on mileage soared 24 percent over the prior year, marking the highest annual increase that the NSC has recorded in 96 years. In addition, 4,795,000 people were injured in 2020 and the estimated cost of deaths, injuries and property damage totaled $474 billion. NSC data are not strictly comparable to NHTSA’s figures shown below.

2019: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36,096 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2019, down 2.0 percent from 36,835 in 2018. The drop in 2019 was the third consecutive annual decline, which occurred despite a 0.9 percent increase from 2018 in vehicle miles traveled. Fatalities decreased slightly in 2019 for drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, pedestrians and pedal cyclists. Fatalities involving SUVs rose 3.4 percent from 2018 and rose slightly in crashes involving large trucks. The total fatality rate, measured as deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, dropped to 1.11 in 2019, from 1.14 in 2018.

Traffic Deaths, 2011-2020


Year Fatalities Annual
Fatality rate
per 100 million
vehicle miles
Fatality rate
per 100,000
registered vehicles
2011 32,479 -1.6% 1.10 12.25
2012 33,782 4.0 1.14 12.72
2013 32,893 -2.6 1.10 12.21
2014 32,744 -0.5 1.08 11.92
2015 35,484 8.4 1.15 12.61
2016 37,806 6.5 1.19 13.13
2017 37,473 -0.9 1.17 12.91
2018 36,835 -1.7 1.14 12.40
2019 36,096 -2.0 1.11 12.06
2020 38,680 7.2 1.37 NA

NA=Data not available.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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  • NHTSA said that large increases in fatalities from 2019 to 2020 occurred in alcohol-involvement, rollover and speeding-related crashes.
  • There were also large increases for drivers of all ages except for drivers over the age of 65.
  • Motorcyclist and pedalcyclist deaths increased while pedestrian deaths were unchanged.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle occupants accounted for 66 percent of traffic deaths in 2018. Pedestrians accounted for 17 percent. Motorcycle riders accounted for another 14 percent, pedal cyclists, other nonoccupants and unknown occupants accounted for the remainder.

Motor Vehicle Traffic Deaths By State, 2018-2019


  Number of deaths     Number of deaths  
State 2018 2019 Percent
State 2018 2019 Percent
Alabama 953 930 -2.4% Montana 181 184 1.7%
Alaska 80 67 -16.3 Nebraska 230 248 7.8
Arizona 1,011 981 -3.0 Nevada 329 304 -7.6
Arkansas 520 505 -2.9 New Hampshire 147 101 -31.3
California 3,798 3,606 -5.1 New Jersey 563 559 -0.7
Colorado 632 596 -5.7 New Mexico 392 424 8.2
Connecticut 293 249 -15.0 New York 964 931 -3.4
Delaware 111 132 18.9 North Carolina 1,436 1,373 -4.4
D.C. 31 23 -25.8 North Dakota 105 100 -4.8
Florida 3,135 3,183 1.5 Ohio 1,068 1,153 8.0
Georgia 1,505 1,491 -0.9 Oklahoma 655 640 -2.3
Hawaii 117 108 -7.7 Oregon 502 489 -2.6
Idaho 234 224 -4.3 Pennsylvania 1,190 1,059 -11.0
Illinois 1,035 1,009 -2.5 Rhode Island 59 57 -3.4
Indiana 860 809 -5.9 South Carolina 1,036 1,001 -3.4
Iowa 319 336 5.3 South Dakota 130 102 -21.5
Kansas 405 411 1.5 Tennessee 1,040 1,135 9.1
Kentucky 724 732 1.1 Texas 3,648 3,615 -0.9
Louisiana 771 727 -5.7 Utah 260 248 -4.6
Maine 136 157 15.4 Vermont 68 47 -30.9
Maryland 512 521 1.8 Virginia 820 831 1.3
Massachusetts 355 334 -5.9 Washington 539 519 -3.7
Michigan 977 985 0.8 West Virginia 294 260 -11.6
Minnesota 381 364 -4.5 Wisconsin 589 566 -3.9
Mississippi 663 643 -3.0 Wyoming 111 147 32.4
Missouri 921 880 -4.5 United States 36,835 36,096 -2.0

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Drivers In Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes By Age, 2019


  Licensed drivers Drivers in fatal
Age group Number Percent of
total drivers
Number Involvement
rate (1)
16 to 20 11,992,727 5.2% 3,892 32.5
21 to 24 14,223,656 6.2 4,590 32.3
25 to 34 40,298,969 17.6 10,507 26.1
35 to 44 37,989,286 16.6 8,301 21.9
45 to 54 38,092,538 16.7 7,532 19.8
55 to 64 39,740,652 17.4 7,166 18.0
65 to 74 29,005,252 12.7 4,404 15.2
Over 74 17,292,831 7.6 3,229 18.7
Total 228,679,719 100.0% 50,930 (2) 22.27

(1) Per 100,000 licensed drivers in each age group.
(2) Includes drivers under the age of 16 and of unknown age.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Federal Highway Administration.

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Motor Vehicle Deaths Per 100,000 Persons By Age, 2019


Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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Sex Of Drivers Involved In Fatal Crashes, 2010-2019 (1)


  Drivers in fatal crashes
  Male Female Total (2)
Year Number Rate (3) Number Rate (3) Number Rate (3)
2010 31,897 30.62 11,796 11.18 43,697 20.84
2011 31,771 30.34 11,227 10.51 43,001 20.33
2012 33,209 31.65 11,557 10.82 44,773 21.15
2013 32,457 30.92 11,382 10.63 43,848 20.67
2014 32,462 30.66 11,250 10.40 43,721 20.43
2015 35,679 33.15 12,333 11.17 48,030 22.03
2016 37,731 34.44 13,306 11.87 51,058 23.04
2017 37,856 33.99 13,619 11.96 51,488 22.86
2018 37,248 33.12 13,325 11.58 50,593 22.24
2019 36,744 32.52 12,825 11.09 49,621 21.70

(1) Drivers over the age of 15. Includes motorcycle riders and restricted and graduated drivers license holders in some states.
(2) Includes drivers of unknown sex.
(3) Rate per 100,000 licensed drivers.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Driver Behavior

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed a list of driver behaviors that are factors in fatal crashes. Speeding is at the top of the list of related factors for drivers involved in fatal crashes. In 2019, 8,746 drivers who were involved in fatal crashes (or 17 percent) were speeding. In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has found that rising state speed limits over the 25 years from 1993 to 2017 have cost nearly 37,000 lives, including more than 1,900 in 2017 alone. By 2021, 42 states had maximum speed limits of 70 mph or higher. On some portion of their roads, 22 states had maximum speed limits of 70 mph, and 11 states had maximum speed limits of 75 mph. Eight states had 80 mph limits, and drivers in Texas can legally drive 85 mph on one road, according to the IIHS. The IIHS says that as the crash speed increased from 40 mph to 56 mph in its tests, researchers found more structural damage and greater forces on the test dummy’s entire body. These increases in speed cancel out the safety benefits resulting from vehicle improvements like airbags and better structural design. By 56 mph, researchers from the IIHS, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the manufacturer of the test dummies found that a head-on crash between two similar vehicles traveling at the same speed would result in severe brain and neck injury and likely result in leg fractures.

Ranking second was the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication, affecting 5,164 drivers, or 10 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes. Failure to yield the right of way, and failure to stay in the proper lane were cited as third and fourth, with a total of about 7,100 drivers, or almost 14 percent of all drivers in fatal crashes exhibiting these behaviors. Drivers operating a vehicle in a careless manner were the fifth most likely to be involved in a fatal crash (3,302 drivers or 6.5 percent of all drivers in fatal crashes).

Driving Behaviors Reported For Drivers And Motorcycle Operators Involved In Fatal Crashes, 2019


Behavior Number of drivers (1) Percent
Driving too fast for conditions or in excess of posted limit or racing 8,746 17.2%
Under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication 5,164 10.1
Failure to yield right of way 3,728 7.3
Failure to keep in proper lane 3,381 6.6
Operating vehicle in a careless manner 3,302 6.5
Distracted (phone, talking, eating, object, etc.) 3,008 5.9
Failure to obey traffic signs, signals, or officer 2,054 4.0
Operating vehicle in erratic, reckless or negligent manner 1,880 3.7
Overcorrecting/oversteering 1,569 3.1
Vision obscured (rain, snow, glare, lights, building, trees, etc.) 1,543 3.0
Drowsy, asleep, fatigued, ill, or blacked out  1,240 2.4
Driving wrong way on one-way traffic or wrong side of road 1,223 2.4
Swerving or avoiding due to wind, slippery surface, etc. 1,148 2.3
Making improper turn 419 0.8
Other factors 5,549 10.9
None reported 9,196 18.1
Unknown 15,423 30.3
Total drivers (2) 50,930 100.0%

(1) Number of drivers and motorcycle operators.
(2) The sum of the numbers and percentages is greater than total drivers as more than one factor may be present for the same driver.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Seatbelt Laws

Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have a primary seatbelt enforcement law, which allows law enforcement officers to stop a car for noncompliance with seatbelt laws. The other states have secondary laws; officials can only issue seatbelt violations if they stop motorists for other infractions. New Hampshire, the only state that does not have a seatbelt law that applies to adults, has a child restraint law. Seatbelts were in use 90.4 percent of the time nationwide in 2021, statistically unchanged from 90.3 percent in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Generally, states with stronger seatbelt enforcement laws achieve higher rates of seatbelt use than states with weaker laws. State seat belt usage rates for 2021 published by NHTSA can be found here; details on state seatbelt laws published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety can be found here.

Fatal Crashes By First Harmful Event, Type Of Collision, 2019


Type of collision Number Percent of
total fatal crashes
Collision with moving motor vehicle    
Angle 6,039 18.2%
Rear end 2,346 7.1
Sideswipe 913 2.7
Head on 3,613 10.9
Other/unknown 155 0.5
     Total 13,066 39.3%
Collision with fixed object    
Pole/post 1,363 4.1
Culvert/curb/ditch 2,199 6.6
Shrubbery/tree 2,446 7.4
Guard rail 851 2.6
Embankment 831 2.5
Bridge 186 0.6
Other/unknown 1,636 4.9
     Total 9,512 28.6%
Collision with object, not fixed    
Parked motor vehicle 411 1.2
Animal 175 0.5
Pedestrian 5,804 17.5
Pedalcyclist 830 2.5
Train 98 0.3
Other/unknown 429 1.3
     Total 7,747 23.3%
Rollover 2,498 7.5
Other/unknown 363 1.1
     Total 2,861 8.6%
Total 33,244 (1)  100.0%

(1) Includes 58 fatal crashes with unknown first harmful events.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Motor vehicle crashes by time of year

Traffic fatalities spike during different periods.

  • In 2019 August had the most fatal crashes and February had the least, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • In 2019, about 50 percent of fatal crashes occurred on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, according to NHTSA.
  • The beginning of daylight savings is linked to an increase in auto accidents, according to an analysis by the University of British Columbia and studies by researchers at John Hopkins and Stanford University.
  • Crashes caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more prevalent around Christmas and New Year’s Day compared with Thanksgiving Day. Crashes on the days around Thanksgiving are concentrated around typical rush hours, according to researchers at the University of Alabama.
  • All holidays are generally a time of increased travel and traffic deaths. In 2019, Independence Day was the holiday period with the most motor vehicle deaths (498), followed by Memorial Day (453), Labor Day (433), New Year’s Day (428), Thanksgiving Day (406) and Christmas Day (129).  As a percent of all fatalities that occur on those days, the percent that involve alcohol-impaired drivers ranges from about 30 to 40 percent. See chart below.

Holiday Driving, 2015-2019 (1)


  Holiday period (1)
  New Year’s Day Memorial Day Independence Day Labor Day Thanksgiving Day Christmas Day
Year Deaths Percent
impaired (2)
Deaths Percent
impaired (2)
Deaths Percent
impaired (2)
Deaths Percent
impaired (2)
Deaths Percent
impaired (2)
Deaths Percent
impaired (2)
2015 354 36% 370 39% 366 35% 397 34% 392 35% 280 36%
2016 279 37 392 37 397 42 384 37 439 36 318 35
2017 330 37 345 37 529 38 345 37 470 36 299 38
2018 325 39 430 38 175 41 433 37 433 31 425 35
2019 428 36 453 37 498 38 433 38 406 29 129 38

(1) The length of the holiday period depends on the day of the week on which the holiday falls. Memorial Day and Labor Day are always 3.25 days; Thanksgiving is always 4.25 days; and New Year’s Day, Independence Day, and Christmas are 3.25 days if the holiday falls on Friday through Monday, 4.25 days if on Tuesday or Thursday, and 1.25 days if on Wednesday. See https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/holidays/holiday-introduction/.
(2) The highest blood alcohol concentration (BAC) among drivers or motorcycle riders involved in the crash was 0.08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher (the legal definition of drunk driving in most states).

Source: National Safety Council based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.

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Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths By Month, 2019


Month Deaths Percent
of total
January 2,472 7% 11
February 2,200 7 12
March 2,540 8 10
April 2,609 8 9
May 2,911 9 6
June 2,915 9 5
July 3,027 9 3
August 3,083 9 1
September 3,070 9 2
October 2,944 9 4
November 2,807 8 7
December 2,666 8 8
Total 33,244 100%  

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Distracted driving

Activities that take drivers’ attention off the road, including talking or texting on cellphones, eating, talking with passengers, adjusting vehicle controls and other distractions, are a major safety threat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gauges distracted driving by collecting data on distraction-affected crashes, which focus on distractions that are most likely to result in crashes such as dialing a cellphone, texting or being distracted by another person or an outside event. In 2019, 3,142 people were killed in crashes involving distractions. There were 2,895 distraction-affected fatal crashes, accounting for 9 percent of all fatal crashes in the nation.

Most states have addressed the issue of using cellphones for talking and texting. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, as of December 2020, talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving is banned in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Laws for novice drivers are even more restrictive: the use of all cellphones by novice drivers is restricted in 37 states and the District of Columbia, and drivers age 21 and younger are banned from texting in Missouri.

Despite laws enacted in most U.S. states designed to reduce using cellphones for text messaging and talking, driver distraction from cellphones remains a significant problem. In 2019, 41 percent of drivers were distracted by their phones during daytime driving, according to data from Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a global phone telematics company. This figure is higher than official statistics. An earlier study found that texting bans were not shown to reduce crash rates, according to a Highway Loss Data Institute 2010 study of collision claims patterns in California, Louisiana, Minnesota and Washington before and after texting bans went into effect. Collisions went up slightly in all the states, except Washington. A positive change was noted in a more recent study using data from hospital emergency departments in 16 states between 2007 and 2014 that found that states with texting bans had an average 4 percent reduction in emergency department visits after motor vehicle crashes, or about 1,600 visits per year. The results were issued in March 2019 in the American Journal of Public Health by authors from the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health and used data from 16 states, all but one having laws banning texting while driving.

Teen girls are twice as likely as teen boys to use cell phones and other electronic devices while driving, according to a March, 2012 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Fatal Crashes Involving Distracted Drivers, 2019


  Crashes Drivers Fatalities
Total fatal crashes 33,244 50,930 36,096
Distraction-affected fatal crashes      
Number of distraction-affected fatal crashes 2,895 3,008 3,142
Percent of total fatal crashes 9% 6% 9%
Cellphone in use in distraction-affected fatal crashes      
Number of cellphone distraction-affected fatal crashes 387 390 422
Percent of fatal distraction-affected crashes 13% 13% 13%

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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  • Distraction was a factor in 9 percent of fatal crashes reported in 2019.
  • Cellphone use was a factor in 13 percent of all fatal distraction-affected crashes, but in only 1.0 percent of the 33,244 fatal crashes reported in 2019.

Pedestrian fatalities

In November 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued its Pedestrian Safety Action Plan in response to the growing number of pedestrian fatalities. It showed that from 2010 to 2019, total traffic fatalities grew 9 percent but pedestrian traffic fatalities rose 44 percent, from 4,302 to 6,205. Pedestrian traffic fatalities were 13 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2010 and by 2019 that proportion grew to 17 percent. Most fatalities occur in urban areas, 81 percent in 2018. The comprehensive plan includes a number of initiatives focused on reducing the number of pedestrian deaths to be implemented by the Federal Highway Administration and NHTSA. Programs expected to be set up in the near term include those that enhance public education, improve pedestrian crossings, improve lighting, set appropriate speed limits. In years to come, the agencies would continue to do more planning by studying the use of automated driving technologies, and improve infrastructure.

The increase in the number of pedestrian fatalities has occurred because state and local transportation agencies prioritize motorist speed and avoiding delay over pedestrian safety, according to Smart Growth America, a nonprofit organization promoting smart growth strategies. The organization’s research shows that older adults, people of color, and people walking in low-income communities are at higher risk for being involved in pedestrian crashes. Its analysis of crashes that occurred between 2010 and 2019 from NHTSA’s Fatal Analysis Reporting System shows that three of the top five metropolitan statistical areas most dangerous and deadly for pedestrians were in Florida—Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, ranking first, Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, ranking fourth and Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond ranking fifth. Ranking second and third were Bakersfield, California and Memphis, Tennessee-Missouri-Arkansas. The rankings were based on the organization’s Pedestrian Danger Index which factored in the number of pedestrians struck and killed by drivers based on population and people who walk in the area. By state the top five ranked by the index were Florida, Alabama, New Mexico, Mississippi and Delaware.

In 2019, an estimated 32 percent of fatal pedestrian traffic crashes involved a pedestrian with blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A BAC of 0.08 grams per deciliter is the legal limit for alcohol impairment in all states except Utah, which has a threshold of 0.05 grams per deciliter. In 2019, an estimated 13 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes involved a driver with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.

Although pedestrian deaths fell in 2019, the latest year of final data, they are on the rise again. In 2019, NHTSA reported that 6,205 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, down 2.7 percent from the 6,374 pedestrians killed in 2018. A May 2021 report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows that in 2020, based on preliminary data, pedestrian fatalities rose 4.8 percent to 6,721 from 6,412 in 2019. The association’s calculations found that pedestrian fatalities rose in 31 states and the District of Columbia while 19 states had decreases. These increases occurred despite the COVID-19 pandemic-related decline in vehicle miles traveled of 13.2 percent in 2020. The pedestrian fatality rate, measured by one billion vehicle miles traveled, rose to 2.30 from 1.90 in 2019, a 21 percent increase. The GHSA notes that this rate of increase is the largest since records were first kept in 1975. The GHSA’s methodology for computing fatalities differs from NHTSA, accounting for the different fatality number in 2019.


Additional resources


Background on: Teen drivers

Background on: Older drivers

Background on: Distracted driving

Facts + Statistics

Drowsy driving

Aggressive driving

Distracted driving

Teen drivers

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Background on: Alcohol-impaired driving
Background on: Marijuana and impaired driving
Background on: Motorcycle crashes