You don’t have to spend too much time on the roads around Nevada to realize that there are more cars than ever, leading to congestion and the ever-present risk of an accident. This may lead you to wonder just how prevalent these accidents are in the US and what state had the most car accidents in 2022. Are drivers in some states more likely to be involved in a car accident than others?
Consider the Data
To find answers to these questions, you need access to measurable data. And this is where it can get problematic, as there is no central database when it comes to recording individual car accidents. In fact, drivers do not necessarily need to report that they have been involved in a car accident to the police or local authority. This requirement can vary from state to state, but a report may not be required if there were no fatalities or injuries to occupants or bystanders, or if the vehicle damage was relatively minor. This means that the state government would not have a complete list of car accidents, so it is necessary to consider other data sources.
State-by-State Fatalities on the Roads
It is certainly possible to review the number of fatalities caused by motor vehicle crashes, state by state. These are reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and the latest available data is from 2020. These reports show the fatality rates per capita and per miles driven, as well as the type of vehicle, the number of vehicles involved, and alcohol and seatbelt use.
The fatality crash data shows 35,766 fatal crashes in the US during 2020, leading to 38,824 deaths. This is a rate of 11.7 deaths for every 100,000 people.
The states with the most car accident deaths per 100,000 population are:
Mississippi – 25.4
Wyoming – 22.0
Arkansas – 21.2
South Carolina – 20.7
Montana – 19.6
Data by Road User
When it comes to deaths by the type of road user, Wyoming came out on top of this list when it comes to SUVs and pickups (representing 48%), but the lowest percentage when it comes to car occupants (at 21%). Vermont records the highest percentage of deaths for occupants in cars at 44%.
Across the country, 55% of reported motor vehicle crash deaths involved just a single vehicle, with Montana and Rhode Island at the top of the list. Delaware records the highest percentage of deaths involving multiple vehicles.
Some records estimate the number of fatalities during a crash where the driver had a high blood alcohol content. However, the reporting rates are irregular, so it isn’t easy to draw any conclusions from the data.
Interestingly, 43% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes nationwide occurred in rural areas. As Montana is quite sparsely populated for its size, it’s no surprise that it should come out on top, where 89% of all crash deaths occurred on the state’s roads. Conversely, Massachusetts only recorded 8% of all its crashes on rural roads.
Data by Car Type
You may wonder whether different car types are more likely to be involved in serious accidents than others. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, small cars or minicars were associated with the highest death rates for the model year 2017 (the latest available data). In fact, that category of car accounted for 15 out of the 20 models on the list. Conversely, SUVs accounted for almost half of the 20 models in the bottom half of the list, with the lowest death rate. In this case, there is a correlation between the size and the relative mass of the vehicle when it comes to those serious collisions.
The Institute further details the makes and models with the highest and lowest overall driver deaths per million registered vehicle years. The Ford Fiesta has the dubious honor of leading the list for highest rates, with 141 and the GMC Yukon XL 1500 4WD on the other end of the scale, with no recorded overall driver deaths per million registered vehicle years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports a significant spike in the number of traffic fatalities in 2021 versus 2020. Almost 43,000 people died in such an incident in 2021, which is more than 10.5% above the previous year. It is also the highest fatality rate since 2005 and the biggest jump on record. The fatality rate is shown as 1.33 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
In addition, fatalities in multi-vehicle accidents grew, year-on-year, by 16%, which is the same increase for the number of fatalities on urban roads.
How Volume May Contribute
Even though all road infrastructure may improve as time goes by, the number of accidents can be attributed in part to the growth in the number of registered vehicles across the country. In 2010, there were 242 million vehicles in the United States, but this had increased to almost 276 million by December 2020.
The United States has one of the world’s highest rates of motor vehicles per capita per country. While the tiny countries of San Marino and Monaco may be at the top of the list, the US is third, with 797 vehicles per 1000 people, according to 2014 data.
For new registrations and on a state-by-state basis, California recorded the highest number in 2020 with 14.2 million. Texas was next at just over 8 million, with Florida close behind.
State-by-State At-Fault Accident Data
While no central database may reveal the number of car accidents by state, one independent organization has conducted some research.
Insurify is a car insurance comparison website, and they have access to a database of more than 4.6 million applications for car insurance. Within these applications, drivers must indicate their state of residence and also declare whether they have had any past accidents or violations. These will include at-fault accidents. So, the analysts at Insurify were able to compare the number of drivers in each state (according to the DoT database) with the number of at-fault accidents recorded within the total driving population. They used this data to record the states with the highest proportion of accidents (at-fault) during 2022.
The Top 10
In reverse order, this agency reports as follows:
- Indiana. Here the share of drivers with an at-fault accident is 9% higher than the national average of 9.6%.
- Iowa. 9.7%, which is 10% higher than the national average.
- North Carolina. 10% of all drivers have at-fault accidents on record, 30% higher than the national average.
- Maine. 10.5%, which is 19% higher than the average.
- Maryland. 10.5% (19% higher).
- Georgia. 10.6% (20% higher).
- Nebraska. 10.6% (20% higher than the national average).
- Ohio. 11.4% (29% higher).
- Massachusetts. 11.9% (35% higher than the national average).
- South Carolina. The Palmetto State has a 12% share of drivers with an at-fault accident record. This is 37% higher than the national average, and according to the statistics alone, South Carolina drivers may therefore cause the most accidents in the country. That state also records 1.97 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
Further analysis by this agency shows that the southern half of the country may have the most life-threatening accidents, with six states higher than average.
Data Specific to Nevada
Some states do produce crash data based on individually filed crash reports. These are gathered by the local law enforcement agencies that may respond to the crash, but remember, drivers are not always required to file such reports. Nevertheless, the Nevada Department of Transportation reveals the statistics in the form of a web map. It’s interactive and contains crash data from the years 2016 to 2020.
For example, the data will tell you that there were more than 237,000 crashes statewide, with just over 110,000 in the greater Las Vegas area.
According to IIHS, Nevada reports 10.2 road deaths per 100,000 population and 1.26 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The number of fatal crashes in 2020 was 317, and the statistics put Nevada somewhere in the middle of all 50 states when it comes to motor-vehicle crash deaths.
According to Insurify, Nevada has a relatively low percentage of drivers with an at-fault accident on their record, approximately 7%. This is far below the surrounding states of Utah, Oregon, and California.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Car Crash
Nevertheless, if you live in Nevada and are unfortunate to be involved in a car accident, you’ll want to know what to do next.
It’s always best to get a police report, and you will be required to do so if the damage is significant or there are injuries involved. The insurance company often uses a police report to determine who is at fault in the case, and this report will contain all the vital information and the driver’s contact details. Sometimes, the police officer involved would make an initial determination about the fault. But either way, the absence of the report can sometimes make the situation more involved or delay the processing of any claim.
Remember, all drivers in Nevada must carry at least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, although this may not be much when it comes to compensation for personal injury. This is why many motorists decide to top up their own coverage to include medical payments or uninsured/underinsured motorist protection.
What Compensation Can You Expect?
No two cases are alike, so there is no such thing as an average amount of compensation. The value of any claim may depend on the serious nature of the injuries and whether they may involve permanent disability or long-term care. It’s important in these situations to get advice from an experienced lawyer who will be able to review the details and assess the next steps. They’ll also be able to identify the liable parties or insurance companies so they can seek compensation for injuries and property damage.
In the event of a car accident, an injured party may be entitled to claim for:
- Property damage, including repair costs to the vehicle (or a total loss payout should it be written off by the insurance company). This may include incidentals like rental car reimbursement.
- Incurred medical costs, such as doctor visits, therapists, diagnostic studies, or specialized care.
- Anticipated medical costs, which could relate to future procedures, necessary equipment, or device costs.
- Loss of wages.
- Loss of earning capacity if an injury prevents the ability to work and learn a living.
- Other damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment.
Other Information Specific to Nevada
As Nevada is known as an at-fault state, the driver responsible for the accident is primarily responsible for paying. Still, if more than one party can share fault for the accident, they will need to share that fault proportionately, with an assigned percentage for each party. Under Nevada law, no driver responsible for more than 50% of the fault associated with an accident can claim any compensation.
Nevada law also says that any person entitled to claim must do so within two years from the date of the accident. This is known as the statute of limitations, and it is therefore important for anyone involved to act as quickly as possible.
How to Be as Safe as Possible
As the roads seem to get busier and the number of registered vehicles continues to increase, the risk of being involved in a car accident may increase. If you’re worried about the statistics, ensure that the vehicle you travel in is always in tip-top condition, and always wear your seat belt. Be alert for the behavior of other drivers, especially on busier roads, which may help you avoid some incidents.
How to Get Help
Nevertheless, you cannot always account for the actions of other drivers, which means that some accidents are unavoidable. If you’re unfortunate to become involved in one, you will want to work with an experienced team of personal injury attorneys. For further advice about car accidents in Nevada and compensation claims, get in touch with Bay Law. Remember that we work on a contingency basis, which means that we only get paid if you do. There’s no upfront cost for our services, and we are dedicated to providing each client with personalized attention and care for representation at every stage of the process.