Analysis: The Deadliest Cars in the United States
Motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of death in the United States. From 2016 – 2019 there was an average of over 100 fatalities every day according to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) data.
We wanted to find out which vehicles are most often involved in fatal crashes, so with the help of 1point21 Interactive, a data visualization and analysis company, we analyzed the most recent full year of data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to determine:
- Which vehicles makes and models are involved in the most fatalities in the U.S.?
- What is the deadliest vehicle in each state?
We answer these questions and more below.
This map is interactive, hover over each state to reveal the number of collision fatalities each vehicle was involved in. If you are viewing this on a mobile device, please rotate for the best experience.
*For our analysis, the term deadliest vehicle is defined as the vehicle involved in the most traffic fatalities.
- Fatalities by make: Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Honda, and Dodge ranked in the top five fatalities by vehicle make.
- The Chevy Silverado is the deadliest vehicle in the United States.
- The top two deadliest vehicles were trucks: The Chevy Silverado was involved in crashes that killed 1,774, with the Ford F150 following closely at 1,539 fatalities.
- Honda Accord: The deadliest passenger car and third deadliest vehicle is the Honda Accord. The Honda Accord also ranks as the second most popular car in America in an Insurify 2020 study. However, the Insurify study does not take trucks into consideration.
- Republican vs. Democratic Party: Pickup Trucks were the deadliest vehicle in 76% of red states, while passenger cars were the deadliest vehicle in 66% of blue states (including Washington D.C.). The status of red and blue states was derived according to voting in the 2016 Presidential Election.
- Female Drivers vs. Male Drivers: Females had the most fatalities driving a Toyota Camry (383) and a Honda Accord (370), with the Chevy Silverado still in the top 10. Males had the most fatalities driving a Chevy Silverado (1,538) and the Ford F150 (1,318) with the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord ranked in the top 10.
Fatalities by Vehicle Make
Ford vehicles were involved in the most fatal collisions, resulting in 7,354 deaths. Chevy (6,975) and Toyota (4,401) rank second and third respectively. Interestingly, Harley-Davidson – a manufacturer that focuses solely on motorcycles – ranks seventh.
Vehicles Involved in Most Fatal Crashes in the U.S.
The Top 5 Deadliest Cars in America (By Make and Model)
5. Honda Civic
- States where this vehicle is the deadliest (Total of 7): Connecticut, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Washington
- Total # of Fatalities (950)
- Fatal Crashes involved 318 female drivers and 594 male drivers
4. Toyota Camry
- States where this vehicle is the deadliest (Total of 1): Massachusetts
- Total # of Fatalities (965)
- Fatal Crashes involved 383 female drivers and 538 male drivers
3. Honda Accord:
- States where this vehicle is the deadliest (Total of 6): California, District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina
- Total # of Fatalities (1,085)
- Fatal Crashes involved 370 female drivers and 663 male drivers
2. Ford F150
- States where this vehicle is the deadliest (Total of 7): Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Utah
- Total # of Fatalities (1,539)
- Fatal Crashes involved 161 female drivers and 1,318 male drivers
1. Chevy Silverado
- States where this vehicle is the deadliest (Total of 26): Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
- Total # of Fatalities (1,774)
- Fatal Crashes involved 194 female drivers and 1,538 male drivers
The 100 Deadliest Vehicles in the U.S. By Make and Model
|43||Chrysler||Town & Country||259|
The Deadliest Vehicles in Each U.S. State
The Chevy Silverado was involved in the most traffic fatalities in a little over half the states, including Texas. The Ford F150 led the way in seven states including Florida, while the Honda Accord was number one in six states including California. Pickups, or light trucks, were deadliest in 34 states, while passenger vehicles were number one in 16 states and Washington D.C.. The Ford Explorer was the only SUV to top the list for any state, doing so in Alaska. Interestingly, despite being the fourth deadliest vehicle overall, the Toyota Camry was only number one in one state, Massachusetts.
|District of Columbia||Accord||3|
Vehicles Involved in Fatal Crashes Where the Driver Was Female
In general, women are much less likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle collision than men are. However, when they are, women are most often driving a passenger car. Only two of the top ten are not passenger cars, the Ford Explorer and the Chevrolet Silverado. The three vehicles female drivers most commonly drive in fatal crashes are: the Toyota Camry at 383 fatalities, the Honda Accord (370), and the Honda Civic (318).
*This list does not mean that the women driving these vehicles were at fault or even that they died – it is simply vehicles involved in fatal crashes where the driver was female.
|23||Chrysler||Town & Country||120|
Vehicles in Fatal Crashes Where the Driver Was Male
Men, on the other hand, make up a disproportionately high percentage of motor vehicle collision deaths and a likewise high percentage of drivers in crashes. When men are listed as a driver in fatal crashes, they are more likely to be driving a truck than women are. In fact, six of the top ten vehicles for men were trucks – four pickup trucks and two large commercial or big rig trucks. The three deadliest cars for male drivers are the Chevy Silverado at 1,538 fatalities, the Ford F150, and the Honda Accord (663).
*This list does not mean that the men driving these vehicles were at fault or even that they died – it is simply vehicles involved in fatal crashes where the driver was male.
Methodology and Data Sources
The data used in our analysis comes from NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data from the year 2018 – the most recent year available.
Our analysis does not take into consideration the number of cars on the road but focuses primarily on the number of fatalities, as that information was not available to us. While it stands to reason that the make/models with the most vehicles on the road would be involved in the most fatalities, it is still interesting to see how this varies by each state.
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If you’ve been injured in a car accident and want to discuss your case with an experienced Chicago Car Accident Lawyer, please feel free to contact the attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates.