How many fatalities on U.S. highways?

January 28, 2022 / Vehicle Accidents

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates total number of motor-vehicle deaths for the first six months of 2021 was 21,450, up 16% over the 18,480 deaths in 2020 and up 17% from the 18,384 fatalities in 2019. The estimated cost of motor-vehicle deaths, injuries, and property damage in the first half of 2021 was $241.9 billion.

In the first half of 2020, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) had risen year-over-year, from a rate of 1.06 in 2019 to a rate of 1.25 in 2020.

What highway has the most deaths?

Highway data showing how many people are killed on U.S. highways around the country.

According to a recent 2019 report, the 10 most deadly roadways in America based on fatalities per 100 miles driven include:

  1. I-95 (14.88)
  2. I-20 (13.52
  3. I-5 (13.47)
  4. I-75 (13.27)
  5. I-35 (12.56)
  6. I-15 (11.02)
  7. I-40 (9.89)
  8. I-70 (7.35)
  9. I-80 (7.21)
  10. US-41 (7.02)

In Indiana, US-41 – running 300 miles from Chicago to Evansville – is among the deadliest highways in the state. So is I-70, which runs from the Illinois state line near Terre Haute over to the Ohio state line near Richmond. Other highways where fatalities rank high include Highway 60 and I-90.

How many people are killed in truck accidents in Indiana?

It’s hard to parse out how many people are killed in truck accidents in Indiana. When it comes to all vehicles, including cars and trucks, Indiana traffic fatality rates have risen in recent years, according to a study titled Indiana Crash Facts 2019. There were 813 fatal crashes in Indiana in 2020, up from 752 in 2019, Indiana State Police records show. This increase is consistent with a nationwide trend. According to NSC, the number of motor-vehicle deaths in America increased 8% from 2019 to 2020. Most of these statistics include car accidents, truck accidents, and accidents with motorcycles, highlighting the need for expert guidance from an Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyer to navigate these complex cases.

At least two Central Indiana counties posted a sharper increase in fatalities than the national average. Marion County saw fatal crashes go from 103 in 2019 to 135 in 2020, a 31% increase, State Police records show. Hamilton County saw fatal crashes double — 26 people died in 24 crashes in 2020.

Large Truck Crash Statistics Nationwide

NHTSA statistics show there were 119,000 large truck injury accidents in 2019, and 5,005 resulted in fatalities. These 2019 large truck deaths represented a 2% increase over the year before and a 43% increase since 2010, according to the NSC.

Among light trucks in 2019, there were nearly 1.4 million injury accidents nationwide, and 19,830 resulted in fatalities. Cars, pick-ups, SUVs, and motorcycles fared far worse in these crashes than did the 18-wheelers. More than 70% of people killed in large-truck crashes in 2019 were occupants of the other vehicles, not the large trucks. Roughly 77% of the fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred on weekdays (6 a.m. Monday to 5:59 p.m. Friday).

About 2% of the drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher. NHTSA reports that large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2019 had a higher percentage (22.9%) of previously recorded crashes compared to drivers of other vehicle types (motorcycles, 22.0%; passenger cars, 18.9%; and light trucks, 17.8%). Large trucks accounted for 10% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes and 4% of all vehicles involved in injury and property-damage-only crashes, according to NHTSA.

Semi-trucks – coming in at 80,000 pounds when loaded — often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger vehicles. Trucks are taller, with greater ground clearance, which often results in smaller vehicles shearing under trucks in crashes. Indiana delivery truck accident lawyer understand the complexities of these cases and are dedicated to advocating for victims’ rights.

Stephenson Rife Gets Results

The truck accident attorneys at Stephenson Rife have won large settlements on behalf of injured clients who have suffered after being hit by a truck. Some of our most notable settlements include:

  • $48.5 million in a case that involved 60 depositions in 5 different states.
  • $2 million in a case where a passenger in a vehicle was injured when struck by a delivery truck.
  • $250,000 in a case where a young woman sustained severe injuries when a semi-truck pulled out in front of her vehicle.
  • $6.5 million for a victim with brain injury in a garbage truck accident.
  • $3.97 million for a family of a man killed in a tractor trailer crash.

The skilled and experienced Indianapolis truck accident lawyers at Stephenson Rife Law Firm know how to scour police reports, hire expert witnesses, and build a powerful claim on our client’s behalf.

Statute of Limitations on Vehicle Accidents in Indiana

Indiana has a statute of limitations (Indiana Code §34-11-2-4) of two years after the date of the vehicle accident to file a lawsuit in court. If you miss this deadline, a judge will likely dismiss your case. Time is of the essence, so don’t delay. Call an injury accident lawyer in Indianapolis to find out about your legal rights. You don’t have to face this difficult time alone. Let our skilled and experienced Indiana personal injury lawyers help you get the justice you deserve.

Damages You May Be Entitled to After a Vehicle Accident Injury


If you’ve been injured in a vehicle crash in Indiana, you may be entitled to a variety of compensation, including economic and non-economic damages. Some of these include:

  • Medical, rehabilitative, and equipment costs (current and future)
  • Lost wages and future lost earnings
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

Contact Stephenson Rife Today

A truck accident lawyer at Stephenson Rife is both tough and compassionate. We deeply understand that our clients have often been through traumatic experiences, and our staff is respectful and patient. When it comes to insurance companies and other defendants, though, we are aggressive and fight hard for the damages you’re entitled to. To learn more about how we can help, call us at (317) 680-2501.

Attorney Mike Stephenson

Attorney Mike StephensonMike Stephenson has 40 years of experience and is a trusted advisor to many individuals and companies. His current practice is dominated by civil litigation in state and federal courts. He focuses much of his time on handling catastrophic injuries caused by all types of accidents, including motor vehicle, trucking, workplace injuries, product liability, and fire, just to name a few. He also works extensively in construction accidents. [ Attorney Bio ]

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