How Many Car Accidents Per Day? (2024)

Explore daily car accident trends in the US from 2012 to 2022, including impacts of COVID-19 and factors driving changes.

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Number of Car Accidents Per Day in U.S. (2012-2022)

*Daily accidents were calculated by dividing the yearly number by the number of days in each year.

Sources: NHTSA Summary 2021, NHTSA Overview 2022

Starting in 2012, there were approximately 15,342 car accidents every day. This number slowly rose over the years, reaching its highest point at 18,637 car accidents per day in 2016. The daily crash rate remained relatively high from 2016 to 2019, with slight variations. The increase was likely due to more vehicles on the roads, expanding cities, and more distractions for drivers, like using smartphones.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

In 2020, the trend completely changed because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdowns and more people working from home, the daily number of how many car accidents per day fell to 14,347. This drop shows that there were fewer cars on the road as people's travel habits changed significantly during the pandemic.

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Post-Pandemic Trends of How Many Car Crashes a Day

However, as restrictions eased in 2021, the number of how many car crashes a day began to rise again, reaching 16,721. This increase continued but at a slower pace into 2022, with a similar number of car accidents per day. The numbers suggest a partial return to pre-pandemic conditions, although they have not reached the highs seen in 2016.

What Affects the Number of Daily Car Accidents?

The changes in daily car accident rates can be linked to several important factors:

  • Increased Vehicle Usage: Earlier in the decade, economic growth and lower fuel prices likely led to more vehicles on the road, resulting in more accidents.
  • Technological Distractions: The popularity of smartphones and in-car technologies has made it easier for drivers to get distracted, which is a major cause of many road accidents.
  • Road and Infrastructure Development: In places where roads and infrastructure haven't improved as fast as the number of vehicles has grown, there’s more traffic congestion and accidents.
  • Safety Initiatives and Regulations: Government safety campaigns and tougher traffic laws usually help lower accident rates, although how well they work can change from year to year.


The number of how many car accidents per day is important for understanding road safety. Although there has been a general increase in accidents over the past decade, the COVID-19 pandemic showed that changes in how society reacts can greatly affect these numbers. Looking ahead, it's important to keep working on making roads safer, improving driver education, and updating infrastructure to meet new demands to help reduce these accidents.

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