In 2013 there were 32,719 vehicle fatalities recorded in America – a number you’ve read before - yet rarely read about the details of those crashes. The number is tossed into a press release announcing a new piece of automotive safety technology or shouted to an automotive executive during a congressional hearing.

I pulled a few pieces of data from NHTSA’s Fatality Database in an attempt to visualize the various ways in which vehicles ended human lives in 2013.

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Hopefully these charts will spark an interesting discussion aside from rants about better driver training (which I fully support!)

If you have any specific data questions, leave me a comment. I’ll do my best to answer it.

Bring on the Excel charts!

You’d think for a country that gave birth to NASCAR going straight, negotiating a curve and turning left would be easy - but that’s not the case as you can see in this graph.

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And yes, it’s safe to say that the 10 of the deaths related to Entering a Parked Space are pedestrian deaths. I hope. If we are dying just parking our cars I’m giving up now and moving to Canada.


In 2013 hitting other vehicles in motion was still our number one target for fatal collisions. In case you’re curious what makes up Fixed Objects, it’s mostly trees, poles and walls.

And when we’re hitting vehicles in motion we do it face-to-face. None of this sucker punch stuff.

So, now that we know what we’re doing with our cars when people are killed, lets shift our attention at who is being killed.

Those in the vehicle still make up 69% of those killed in vehicle accidents.

The age of those people who died is very important as this is a life ending event. As you can see, sadly, many are rather young, some very very young.

And of those people how many were wearing seatbelts? Ugh, barely half. Even worse look at the number of children not restrained. This is one of the saddest stories in the narrative of vehicle fatalities.

There you have it. A quick look into some of the details from data on vehicle fatalities for 2013 in America.

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