Arizona Auto Accident Statistics

Table of Contents (Quick links)

arizona auto accident statistics car that has been in a wreck

Learn more about Arizona auto accident statistics and what you can do to protect yourself on our busy streets with distracted drivers.

What is the minimum speed you could sustain an injury in a car accident?

Minimum Speed to Cause An Auto Injury

Contrary to what many people might think, a vehicle does not need to be driving very quickly to cause injuries in an accident. In fact, studies show that motor vehicles moving at slow speeds as low as 6.2 mph can cause cervical neck injuries should an accident occur. 

In a study conducted by the Academy of Manual Medicine, it was concluded that injuries could be sustained from speeds as low as 10 km/h which converts to 6.2 mph.

“The study concluded that, the ‘limit of harmlessness’ for stresses arising from rear-end impacts with regard to the velocity changes lies between 10 and 15 km/h.”

(*Note 10 km/h = 6.2 mph)


Castro WH, Schilgen M, Meyer S, Weber M, Peuker C, Wörtler K. Do “whiplash injuries” occur in low-speed rear impacts? Eur Spine J. 1997;6(6):366-75. doi: 10.1007/BF01834062. PMID: 9455663; PMCID: PMC3467723.

What is the most common condition to present itself after an auto accident?

Delay In Symptoms Presenting

While some auto injury symptoms will be obvious immediately, others can take some time to present. The delay in the onset of symptoms is widely considered to be the norm nowadays. For example, the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association found that post-traumatic headaches are the most common condition presenting after a motor vehicle collision.

There are two types of headaches attributed to whiplash injury; acute and chronic. An acute headache develops within 7 days after the accident and resolves within 3 months. A chronic headache will also develop within 7 days, but will persist even after the 3 months time.

“Primary contact practitioners should be aware of the various causes of headaches that result after a MVA. Headaches, which do not respond or progress, should be followed aggressively to determine their source.”

The Journal of The Canadian Chiropractic Association

What percentage of people sustain a permanent injury from an auto accident?

Permanent Medical Impairment From Auto Accidents

Injuries sustained in an auto accident can result in permanent life-changing impairments and disabilities. A study by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine reported that almost 10% of all car occupants suffering minor injuries from an auto accident sustained a permanent medical impairment. The numbers were significantly higher in those with more severe injuries.

“Almost 10% of all car occupants with AIS1 injuries sustain a permanent medical impairment. It is therefore important to include minor injuries leading to impairment when measuring health losses due to road traffic crashes.”

What percentage of people still experience pain even after 12 months from an auto accident?

Persistence Of Auto Injury Symptoms

Drivers and passengers injured in auto injuries often report symptoms persisting for months, or even years after the incident. A study highlighted this issue showing that individuals who considered their auto collision with a severity of medium to high experienced a 60% increase in the risk of persistent neck pain.

Based on hospital reports of all people that go to emergency rooms after a car accident with neck pain, over 25% still experience pain even after 12 months.

“We have demonstrated that among people consulting hospital emergency departments with neck pain within 24 hours of a motor vehicle collision, persistent neck pain is common: our results demonstrate that over a quarter still report symptoms 12 months subsequently.”


In another study by the European Spine Journal, it was found that being involved in a motor vehicle accident can have a significant impact on neck pain persisting in the future and associated disabilities emerging.

“In conclusion, a past history of exposure to an MVA with sequelae of neck pain appears to have a substantial impact on future persistent neck pain and associated disability.”

What is the main cause of auto accidents?

Majority Of Crashes Caused By Human Error

Driving comes with many risks but drivers themselves are at fault for 90% of auto accidents according to the National Safety Council. They report that the three most common driver errors are failing to identify hazards or not seeing them soon enough, incorrect defensive driving techniques, and driving in an altered or distracted condition.

The most common driver errors causing motor vehicle accidents:

  1. Not seeing road hazards until it’s too late
  2. Performing a wrong defensive driving action
  3. Driving distracted or in an altered state such as lack of sleep, distractions like phones, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

How many people die from auto accidents?

Number Of Fatalities From Auto Accidents

In 2018, 39,404 people lost their lives due to motor vehicle crashes. While that number was down 4% from 2017, it is still far too high.

When you consider that for every one person killed in a motor vehicle crash, 9 people were hospitalized and another 88 were treated and released from emergency departments, you begin to understand the total impact that an auto accident can have.

The full impact of motor vehicle crashes graphic

How many people sustain a serious injury from auto accidents?

Number Of Serious Injuries From Motor Vehicle

In 2019, an estimated 4.4 million people suffered injuries from auto accidents that were deemed serious enough to require medical attention. This figure showed a decrease of approximately 2% on the 2018 figures. However, the research to determine why the numbers are falling will likely take some time, although many experts believe that improved car safety technology has played an important role.


The National Safety Council has issued traffic fatality estimates since 1921. 

What state has the most deaths from motor vehicle accidents? (see map with all states)

Motor Vehicle Deaths & Death Rates by State (Interactive map)

Traffic fatality estimates for each state can be found here with an interactive map showing “All motor vehicle deaths per 100,000 population trend”.

How to use with the “Motor-vehicle deaths and death rates by state” interactive map below:

  • Hover on any state to view that state’s “vehicle death rate” and 8 year trend
  • Click on any state in the map to exclude of focus on it
  • Use sliders and dropdowns to set date ranges
  • Drill down groups and sort data in tables
  • Use controls at the bottom of the chart to reset, expand, or download
  • Hover on icons to see their function

What are my chances of being in an auto accident?

Chances Of Being Involved In An Auto Accident

Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of fatalities in the country every year, according to the U.S Department of Transportation. While motorcyclists and pedestrians are much more likely to be injured in a motor vehicle accident, all road users need to take precautions. The average driver will typically have a near accident 1-2 times per month and will be involved in some form of collision approximately every 6 years.

Who covers the cost of injuries from auto accidents?

Who Covers The Costs Of Injuries From Auto Accidents?

A report by the Insurance Research Council looked at the reports of almost 6,000 people who were injured because of an auto accident. The study investigated issues such as the type, variety, and severity of injuries as well as how victims were compensated, among other things.

The report found that the injured party’s auto insurance company covered 63% of injuries, 55% were paid by the auto insurance of the other party and 36% were covered by health insurance. Government programs contributed to paying for 20% of injuries while 19% of sustained injuries were paid by worker’s compensation insurance.


To cover the payments approximately 60% of those with injuries needed to utilize two or more methods of payment.

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