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Car Accident Statistics

Car accidents claim lives and cause injury every day in Alabama and across our country. The University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS) says that a typical driver in Alabama has greater than a one-in-three chance over their lifetime of being involved in a car accident that causes a death or injury. The probability that an individual will be in a car crash of any severity during their lifetime is greater than 98 percent. When you or a loved one are injured due to the negligence of another driver, you need our experienced car accident attorneys in Alabama. Contact Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. to get the justice you deserve. Call us today at 205-933-1500.

Causes of Auto Accidents by the Numbers

It’s important to know how safe, or dangerous, our roads are. Reviewing Alabama car accident statistics and their causes will help you better understand the possibility of an accident in different conditions. The latest edition of Alabama Traffic Crash Facts (2014) shows that multiple car accidents, including fatalities, happen daily in Alabama. The report states:

  • 133,219 traffic crashes (car, truck and motorcycle accidents) were reported to law enforcement (365 per day). One traffic crash was reported every four minutes.
  • 821 people were killed in 739 fatal crashes (an average of two fatal wrecks and 2.2 people killed every day). One person was killed in a traffic crash every 10 hours and 6 minutes.
  • 39,518 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents. More than 108 injuries occurred in a traffic crash every day.
  • 94,242 crashes involved one vehicle hitting another. These accidents caused 302 fatalities and 26,861 injuries.
  • 95 people were killed and 485 were injured in crashes in which a pedestrian was hit.
  • 8 people were killed and 141 were injured in crashes in which a cyclist was hit.

The primary causes of all Alabama car crashes in 2014 were:

  • Failed to yield right of way 20,000
  • Tailgating 18,550
  • Misjudged stopping distance 12,483
  • Unseen object, person or vehicle 9,628
  • Speeding 7,196
  • Driver under the influence (DUI) 4,379
  • Improper lane change / use 9,402
  • Failure to heed sign / signal / officer 5,087
  • Swerved to avoid vehicle, object 6,516
  • Ran off road 3,006
  • Fatigue/sleep 2,171
  • Driver not in control 391
  • Wrong side of the road 747
  • Other reasons 33,663


Note that driving over the speed limit contributes to almost 7,200 Alabama accidents in which speed was the primary cause. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that about a third of all fatalities that occur in motor vehicle traffic crashes are speeding-related. In fact, a 2005 NHTSA analysis of speeding-related motor vehicle crashes found that about 41 percent of drivers who were intoxicated (registered BAC of 0.08 percent or more) were also speeding, as compared to 14 percent for sober drivers.

Drunk Driving

The Alabama Department of Transportation says 8,767 people were involved in accidents while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in 2014. Of those drug and alcohol-related incidents:

  • The largest percentage happened in the early morning hours, peaking at 2 am.
  • The most common day of the week for DUI fatalities was Sunday with 30.8 percent of accidents occurring on that day.
  • 5,772 of DUI drivers involved in an accident were male, 2,398 were female and in 597 DUI crashes the gender of the driver wasn’t identified.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a growing concern because of the prevalence of personal electronic devices over the last several years. Alabama made texting-while-driving illegal in 2012. Distracted driving includes any activity that could divert a driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving. This includes eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading and of course, texting or talking on a mobile phone.

In 2014, according to the NHTSA:

  • 3,179 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • 431,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 who were involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.

If You’ve Been Injured, an Alabama Car Accident Lawyer from Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. Can Help

Statistics cannot tell the whole story of how and why drivers get into car accidents. There are many reasons. But too many car accidents can be attributed to driver error, usually caused by negligence or recklessness.

If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a car accident in Alabama, the experienced car accident attorneys at the Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., can help you determine your legal rights and options. For a free consultation, call us today at 205-933-1500 or use our online form.