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Death Rate by Car Accident

Car accident death rates can vary by the car accident type and other factors, such as the speed of the vehicles at the time of impact. While some car accidents can be harmless, resulting in minor damage and no injuries, others, such as head-on highway collisions, can cause multiple fatalities and catastrophic injuries.

The effects of a severe crash can last a lifetime, especially if you suffered severe injuries or a loved one died in the accident. Moreover, losing a loved one is emotionally devastating and could have far-reaching implications for a family’s financial stability and future.

Morgan & Morgan knows that being involved in a fatal car crash or experiencing the death of a loved one in an accident can be deeply upsetting and shocking. However, if another is responsible, you could hold them accountable and recover damages. Our compassionate car accident lawyers can be here for you and guide you through the legal process. Contact us today to find out more in a free case review.

The 5 Deadliest Types of Car Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), death rates in accidents have drastically increased in recent years, with almost 43,000 individuals dying in crashes in 2021. However, while many different types of car accidents exist, some are more deadly than others. Read on to discover the highest death rate by car accident:

1. Head-on Collisions

Head-on collisions, while a rarer type of crash, are often deadly. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the death rate in head-on accidents is higher than in more common crashes such as rear-end or sideswipe accidents.

Head-on accidents typically happen when a driver crosses the opposing traffic lane or is driving the wrong way down a one-way street. Such collisions can cause injuries even at low speeds. However, they are particularly dangerous when they occur on highways and at high speeds, potentially leading to catastrophic and fatal injuries.

2. T-Bone Accidents

T-bone accidents occur when one vehicle collides with the side of another vehicle, forming a T-shape. Such accidents can happen when drivers run red lights or fail to yield to oncoming traffic. T-bone accidents can be particularly deadly for passengers on the side of the vehicle impacted and can result in significant injuries or death.

3. Rollover Accidents

In rollover accidents, a vehicle flips over onto its side or roof. This type of accident can be caused by several factors, such as:

  • Sharp turns at high speeds
  • Hitting an obstacle or curb
  • Improperly loaded cargo
  • Oversteering

Rollover car accidents can have a high death rate, especially if car occupants are not wearing seatbelts, as they could be thrown from the vehicle or crushed by the car’s weight.

4. Rear-end Collisions

Rear-end collisions are relatively common and typically occur when a driver hits the back of another vehicle and can be caused by distracted driving or following too closely. While rear-end crashes may not always be deadly, they can cause significant injuries and, occasionally, deaths.

5. Single-Vehicle Crashes

Single-vehicle crashes involve only one vehicle and can occur due to the following:

  • Driver error
  • Inexperience
  • Tire blowouts
  • Hitting an object on the road
  • Poor road design or maintenance

Single-vehicle car accident death rates can be high, especially if the vehicle collides with a fixed object such as a tree or utility pole.

If you suffered severe injuries or a loved one died in a car crash, and someone else is responsible, Morgan & Morgan’s car accident lawyers could help you get justice.

Causes of Fatal Car Crashes

Car accidents can have devastating consequences for those involved and their families, who can see their lives turned upside down in the blink of an eye. While some accidents are caused by factors beyond anyone’s control, many result from driver error, carelessness, and plain recklessness. Some of the leading causes of deadly car accidents include:

Distracted driving

Distracted driving causes many crashes and is entirely avoidable. Distractions while driving can include:

  • Texting
  • Using a phone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Adjusting the radio or climate control
  • Talking to passengers


Speeding and driving too fast for road or weather conditions is another common cause of severe crashes. Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to react to unexpected situations and increases the severity of accidents and the likelihood of deaths.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving contributes to many car accidents each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 32 people in the US die daily in crashes involving drunk drivers.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving, such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and ignoring traffic signals, is another major cause of deadly car accidents. Reckless driving puts the driver and all other road users, such as other car occupants, pedestrians, and cyclists, at risk of fatal injuries.

Poor Road Condition

Poor road conditions, such as potholes and cracks, or bad road design can contribute to a high death rate in car accidents, especially in combination with other factors, such as driving distracted or speeding.

Vehicle Defects

Vehicle defects can cause tragic single-car or multiple-vehicle accidents, including fatalities. Some of the most common defects can include:

  • Defective tires
  • Faulty brakes or steering
  • Engine malfunctions

You Could Have Legal Recourse

It is important to note that if a car accident occurs due to any of the above reasons, such as driver recklessness or negligence of a car manufacturer or government agency, victims and families of killed individuals could be entitled to compensation. Morgan & Morgan has your back. We can assess your accident, determine who is responsible, and move forward with a compensation claim on your behalf.

Morgan & Morgan Has Your Back

If you were involved in a fatal crash or your loved one was killed in a collision. Morgan & Morgan’s experienced car accident attorneys can be here for you. Ways in which we could help you recover what you deserve include:

Investigate the Crash

Car accidents, especially those involving fatalities, typically entail detailed investigations to determine the facts of the crash and who is responsible. Morgan & Morgan can draw on the expertise of crash investigators and reconstruction professionals to fully examine a crash’s circumstances. We can establish the cause of the accident, identify all liable parties, and determine your legal options.

Gather Crucial Evidence Proving Negligence

Proving the other party’s negligence or recklessness is critical for winning a wrongful death or personal injury claim. Morgan & Morgan’s attorneys and legal team members can work tirelessly to gather and preserve crucial evidence, including:

  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • Traffic camera footage
  • Witness statements

File an Insurance Claim or Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The higher your damages in a car accident, the more challenging it can be to recover what you truly deserve from an insurance company. Morgan & Morgan can step in, level the playing field, and ensure an insurer or at-fault party is not shortchanging you. We can help you file and track an insurance claim and, if necessary, file a lawsuit to pursue adequate compensation.

Offer a Shoulder to Lean On

During one of the most difficult times in your life, our dedicated car accident attorneys are here to offer you a shoulder to lean on and provide legal and emotional support. We know that losing a loved one can throw your entire life off course, leaving you exhausted and overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. We are here for victims and families and can help you navigate the legal process from start to finish.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What Is the Likelihood of Getting Killed in a Car Crash?

    The National Safety Council (NSC) says that the lifetime odds of dying in a car accident is one in 101. However, the likelihood of getting injured or killed in a collision can depend on the death rate by car accident and other factors, such as:


    According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 72 percent of accident fatalities in 2020 were male. In general, men not only drive more miles but are also more likely to:

    • Speed
    • Drink and drive
    • Fail to use seatbelts


    While fatal accidents can happen anywhere, they are typically more likely to occur in rural areas. While there can be many reasons for deadly accidents, including driver carelessness, rural areas tend to have:

    • Higher speed limits
    • Fewer safety features
    • Longer response times for emergency services


    Individuals driving great distances, for example, as part of their job, are more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than those who use their vehicles only occasionally. Delivery drivers, commuters, and rideshare drivers can be at particular risk of getting involved in a deadly accident.

  • How Can I Prevent Getting Involved in a Deadly Car Accident?

    While we cannot influence other drivers’ actions, many car crashes are potentially preventable. Taking the following action and driving behaviors can help you to stay safe:

    • Drive defensively
    • Always wear a seatbelt
    • Follow traffic laws
    • Avoid distractions such as texting or talking on the phone
    • Obey speed limits
    • Refrain from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
    • Maintain your vehicle well
    • Always be aware of your surroundings

    By practicing these habits, you can significantly reduce the risk of being involved in a deadly car crash.

  • Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim After My Loved One Dies in an Accident?

    If your loved one passed away due to another driver or another party’s carelessness or recklessness, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit and pursue compensation. Family members are often shocked when they lose a loved one in a crash and only later discover the financial implication of losing their loved one’s income, benefits, and services. However, a wrongful death lawsuit allows you to recover various damages, which could include:

    • Funeral and burial expenses
    • Medical costs before your relative passed
    • Loss of income, benefits, and inheritance  
    • Loss of services, such as housework, childcare, etc.
    • Loss of companionship (spouse)
    • Loss of parental guidance (children)

    You could be entitled to additional or other damages, depending on your case’s circumstances and state laws.

  • How Do You Determine Fault in a Deadly Car Crash?

    You could qualify for compensation if another caused your crash or your loved one’s death. However, to receive an insurance settlement or prevail in a lawsuit, you have to prove the fault of the responsible party with compelling evidence.

    Many fatal accidents occur due to other drivers not operating their cars with due care and attention. Proving fault includes showing that the other party’s negligence or recklessness caused or contributed to the accident. Common ways to determine and prove fault can consist of:

    • Physical evidence, such as photos of the accident scene and car damage
    • Witness statements detailing the accident’s events
    • Traffic citations, such as for speeding or running a red light

    An experienced and tenacious car accident lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can help you prove the responsible party’s negligence in your crash.

  • How Long Can I File a Lawsuit After a Fatal Accident?

    The time limit for filing a lawsuit after a deadly car crash, known as the statute of limitations, varies depending on your state and the type of lawsuit you intend to file.

    In general, if the family members of a deceased victim wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver or other parties responsible for the crash, they must do so within the specified time frame. They may lose their right to seek compensation if
    they miss the deadline.

    While the time limit may be extended in certain circumstances, it could also be shortened, depending on the facts of a claim. Therefore, consulting with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after a deadly car crash can be critical for recovering what you deserve.

  • Contact Morgan & Morgan for Help and Advice

    While the death rate can vary by type of car accident, all car accidents can potentially cause life-changing injuries and deaths. However, if you or a loved one is affected, you are not alone and don’t have to struggle with a complex accident claim. Morgan & Morgan is here for you. We want to get you the best results as fast as possible.

    Hiring us is free and easy. Submit a free case evaluation today, and we will determine whether you qualify for compensation.

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