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Which auto makes get in the most fatal accidents?

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Click here to view the interactive map and here to view the data table.

When you pass an accident on the highway, you may have several questions about it. What caused the accident? How bad was it? Is everyone all right? Could it have been prevented?

Unfortunately, if you drive at all, you put yourself at risk for an accident.

While there are many things you can do to prevent one, it’s not always in your control. Whether you’re in a multi-car pileup or a fender bender, the hope is that the people involved can walk away unscathed. But that’s not always the case.

This article offers information regarding what can cause fatal accidents and how to help prevent them. It also speaks to a less common question: Is there any connection between the make of the vehicle and the accident that occurred?

If you’re on the lookout for car insurance rates, click here to use our comparison tool!

Fatal Car Accidents

AdobeStock_58453578-1600x1600There are two types of fatal car accidents: sudden death and eventual death.

In a sudden death car accident, a passenger or driver of a vehicle dies instantly. The most common causes of sudden death car accidents are high speeds and enormous vehicles that hit much smaller ones.

In an eventual death car accident, victims suffer from fatal injuries that eventually result in their death.

Distracted Driving

While there are often many variables that cause a car accident, one of the most common causes of preventable accidents is distracted driving.

In the United States, one out of ten fatal car accidents is caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving comes in many forms, but there are a few types that occur time and time again:

  • Visual – Visual distractions are the most common, and they include anything that prevents a driver from focusing on the road while behind the wheel. Examples include an individual glancing at his or her phone, adjusting the radio dial or mirrors (also a manual distraction), and rubbernecking.
  • Manual – Manual distractions include anything that causes a driver to take one or both hands off of the steering wheel while driving. Examples of manual distractions include texting (also a visual and cognitive distraction), eating, or reaching for items in the car while driving.
  • Cognitive – Cognitive distractions are the least predictable type of distracted driving, and they include thoughts that cause a driver to lose focus on the task at hand. Examples of cognitive distractions include emotionally stressful or exciting thoughts, talking on the phone, or talking with a passenger while driving.

As you can see, there may be many reasons as to why a car accident occurs.

The focus of the rest of this article is to examine which automobile makes are most commonly involved in fatal car accidents in the U.S.

Methodology

Top 10 Vehicles in Most Fatal CrashesClick here to view more interactive graphics

To compile information for the Top 10 Auto Makes Involved in Fatal Accidents, we used data collected in the following categories:

  • Total Number of Fatal Crashes per State
  • Total Number of Vehicles Involved in Fatal Crashes
  • Total Number of Fatal Crashes by Make per State
  • Percentage of Fatal Crashes by Make per State

You can view the data, which is available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by:

  • Clicking the link to the NHTSA’s website
  • Selecting the year 2015
  • Selecting “Option 3”
  • Selecting the “Vehicle Make” checkbox
  • Clicking the “Cross Tab” button
  • Choosing “Vehicle Make” in the “Column” dropdown

You can find a chart with the complete rankings below. And if you’re curious as to whether your type of vehicle is on the list, please continue reading.

Top 10 Auto Makes Involved in Fatal Accidents

#10 – Chrysler

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State with the Highest: Texas (377 fatal accidents)
State with the Lowest: Wyoming, Vermont, and Hawaii tied for 0 accidents

Chrysler was founded in 1925 by Walter Chrysler when he took over the failing Maxwell-Chalmers company.

Chrysler is responsible for many automobile innovations, such as hydraulic brakes, rubber engine mounts, and a road wheel with ridged rims designed to keep a flat tire from flying off the car. (This safety wheel was eventually adopted by the auto industry worldwide.)

In 2015, there was a total of 862 fatal accidents involving a Chrysler.

#9 – Hyundai

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State with the Highest: Florida (125 fatal accidents)
State with the Lowest: Rhode Island (0 fatal accidents)

There was a total of 912 fatal Hyundai car accidents in 2015.

Hyundai was founded in 1967 along with its subsidiary, Kia. The headquarters of the company are in Seoul, South Korea.

Hyundai is the fourth largest vehicle manufacturer in the world and operates the world’s largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility. In 2012, Hyundai sold 4.4 million vehicles worldwide.

#8 – Jeep/Kaiser-Jeep/Willys-Jeep

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State with the Highest: California (82 fatal accidents)
State with the Lowest: Alaska and District of Columbia tied at 0 fatal accidents

In the United States, there were 1,221 fatal accidents in 2015 involving a Jeep.

Kaiser Jeep was the result of the merger between the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation in Willow Run, Michigan, and the Toledo, Ohio-based Willys-Overland Company.

By producing the Jeep for the armed forces, Willys-Overland was able to survive World War II, therefore making the Jeep the crown jewel of Willys-Overland.

#7 – GMC

State with the Highest: Texas (175 fatal accidents)
State with the Lowest: Vermont and District of Columbia tied at 0 fatal accidents

GMC primarily focuses on trucks and utility vehicles. William C. Durant (aka Billy Durant) founded General Motors in 1908 as a holding company for Buick.

When GM purchased Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan in 1909, that company became the catalyst for the General Motors Truck Company.

In 2015, there were 1,489 fatal accidents involving a GMC automobile.

#6 – Datsun/Nissan

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State with the Highest: California (244 fatal accidents)
State with the Lowest: Vermont (0 fatal accidents)

Datsun originated from Nissan taking over Dat Motorcar Co. in 1934. Nissan changed the name of Dat’s smaller car model Datson, to Datsun, since “son” in Japanese translates to “loss.” Nissan also chose “sun” to represent the sun pictured on the Japanese national flag.

There was a total of 2,251 fatal accidents involving Datsun/Nissan in the U.S. in 2015.

#5 – Dodge

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State with the Highest: Texas (377 fatal accidents)
State with the Lowest: District of Columbia (1 fatal accident)

In 2015, there were nearly 3,000 fatal accidents (2,987) involving a Dodge automobile in the U.S.

The Dodge brothers, John and Horace, started out in the auto business by building Ford vehicles for Henry Ford.

In 1913, John and Horace Dodge announced that they were going to start building their own cars, and by July 1914, the Dodge Brothers Company was established. Today, Dodge is known as a muscle brand.

#4 – Honda

State with the Highest: California (453 fatal accidents)
State with the Lowest: District of Columbia (1 fatal accident)

Since 1959, Honda has been the largest motorcycle manufacturer.

In 2001, Honda became the second largest Japanese automobile manufacturer. In 2011, they were named the eighth largest automobile manufacturer in the world.

Honda was involved in 3,463 fatal automobile accidents in the U.S. in 2015.

#3 – Toyota

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State with the Highest: California (619 fatal accidents)
State with the Lowest: District of Columbia (1 fatal accident)

A Toyota automobile was involved in 3,695 fatal accidents in the U.S. in 2015.

Toyota was created in 1933 by Kiichiro Toyoda and stemmed from Japan’s need for domestic vehicles due to the war with China.

Although Toyota is best known for its cars, the company is still in the textile business, making automatic, computerized looms and electric sewing machines.

#2 – Chevrolet

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State with the Highest: Texas (812 fatal accidents)
State with the Lowest: District of Columbia (3 fatal accidents)

In 1911, Chevrolet was established in Detroit, Michigan. Road racer Louis Chevrolet and General Motors founder Billy Durant created Chevrolet. Billy Durant introduced the emblem for the company in 1913 — the Chevrolet bowtie.

There was a total of 6,870 fatal Chevrolet accidents in 2015.

#1 – Ford

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State with the Highest: Texas (788 fatal accidents)
State with the Lowest: District of Columbia (4 fatal accidents)

Coming in at the top spot on our list, Ford was involved in 7,100 fatal accidents in the U.S. in 2015.

Ford was founded in 1903 by Henry Ford and is currently one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world. Ford is also the largest family-controlled company in the world, as it has been under the Ford family for over 110 years.

Insights into the Data

Factoring in every state in the U.S. — including the District of Columbia — Texas came in first for fatal accidents. Of the top 10 spots we mentioned, Texas was listed as the state with the highest fatal accidents in half of them.

In Texas, a person is killed in a car crash every two hours and 29 minutes.

California came in second on our list, and Florida placed third, listed as the state with the highest fatal accidents for just one automaker. According to a 2016 census, Texas, California, and Florida are the three states in the U.S. with the largest populations.

The District of Columbia had the lowest amount of fatal accidents, with Rhode Island, Alaska, Wyoming, Hawaii, and Vermont in the lowest ranks as well.

Each of these states has a fairly low population. Even Alaska, which is larger than the combined area of Texas, California, and Montana, has a population of just 738,432, according to a 2015 census.

In 2015, Texas, California, and Florida were the only states to have over 4,000 total vehicles involved in a car crash. Texas had 4,891, California had 4,417, and Florida had 4,165. Georgia was next in line at 2,047, but all other states were around 1,000 or under.

Tips to Avoid Fatal Accidents

adobestock_117074394-1600x1600To improve your chances of avoiding a fatal car accident, obey the law and drive safely. Follow these tips:

  • Don’t drive drunk or buzzed
  • Obey the speed limits
  • No tailgating
  • Pay attention while you drive
  • Always check your blind spot before changing lanes
  • Watch for pedestrians and other drivers
  • Look both ways before crossing an intersection or turning
  • Prepare for the weather before hitting the road
  • Be extra careful in a parking lot
  • Also be careful when driving at night
  • Invest in advanced car safety features
  • ALWAYS wear your seatbelt

We hope the information throughout this article helps you and your loved ones avoid fatal car accidents. Please drive carefully!

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Complete Rankings: Top Auto Makes Involved in the Fatal Accidents

– To sort the table by category, click on header columns.

– Click here for the full stats and sources for each category. For all media inquiries, please email: josh@autoinsurance.org



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