Where Do Most Crashes Happen?

By Justin M. Beall

Vehicle collisions can occur almost anywhere, including driveways and parking lots. Of course, roadways are where the greater number of vehicle-related deaths and serious injuries take place.

You can drive more defensively when you maintain awareness of where most crashes happen. Wherever a crash occurs, if another driver’s negligence caused you harm, the team at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, will help you obtain the compensation your injuries deserve.

Urban or Rural Roads — Where Do Most Crashes Happen?

where do most crashes happen

Based on figures from the United States Department of Transportation in 2023, an estimated 2.5 million people were injured in vehicle crashes on U.S. roads in 2021. These figures show that a greater number of roadway crashes that resulted in fatalities — more than 60% of vehicle-related deaths in 2021 — occurred on urban roads.

However, although there’s less traffic in rural areas and thus fewer accidents, the nation’s backroads present their own unique hazards. Close to half of the fatalities that occurred on rural roads in 2021 resulted from a vehicle crossing over the center line or roadway edge line. The higher speed limits on many rural roads demand a greater degree of driver attention.

Rural roads also tend to have poorer infrastructure maintenance that could cause drivers to remain unaware of unexpected hazards, such as uneven road surfaces or potholes. Wildlife crossings represent another risk on backroads. More than 150 people died in collisions involving vehicles and wildlife in 2021.

Do a significant number of crashes occur in work zones?

Overall, it’s estimated that over 100,000 crashes occurred in nationwide work zones in 2021 and caused more than 40,000 injuries. The U.S. DOT reported that 874 fatal crashes took place within work zones that same year. In the following year, more than half of the highway contractors involved in a nationwide study reported vehicles crashing in their work zones.

Where Do Most Crashes Happen in the Washington, D.C., Area?

where do most car accidents happen in Washington DC?

The eastern side of Washington, D.C., recorded more traffic fatalities than the westside city wards, with the exception of Ward 2. Home to the National Mall, Georgetown, and the Downtown Central Business District, Ward 2 experiences a notably high number of collisions. Heavy traffic patterns combined with a diverse mix of road users often play a significant role in Ward 2’s higher number of collisions.

Crashes occurring in the District’s southernmost neighborhoods, located in Ward 8, have been a growing cause for concern. Spanned by Interstate 295 running alongside the Potomac River, Ward 8 has developed a disturbing reputation for roadways on which people have an increased chance of getting injured or killed by a motorist. Overall, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department noted in 2023 that it saw an almost 50% increase in traffic-related fatalities.

Where Do Most Crashes Happen in Maryland?

Maryland’s Baltimore, Prince George’s, and Montgomery counties topped a recent state crash data list. All three counties reflect high-traffic areas. Route 210 in Prince George’s County has a particularly bad reputation for vehicle crashes. State officials noted that aggressive driving or speeding accounted for the majority of the state’s fatal crashes in 2021.

Impaired and distracted drivers also contribute to Maryland’s vehicle collisions. The greatest number of crashes involving pedestrians occur in the Baltimore metro area. Maryland’s pedestrian fatalities are higher than the national average, with an estimated 16% occurring at intersections. Overall, as reported by the U.S. DOT, 561 people were killed during 2021 in vehicle crashes in Maryland.

Where Do Most Crashes Happen in Virginia?

Richmond, VA sees lots of car accidents.

Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles reported almost 122,500 crashes in the state in 2022. Fairfax County had the highest count, with more than 11,500 crashes. Prince William and Chesterfield counties totaled 6,025 and 5,430, respectively. Overall, more than 1,000 fatalities and 59,400 injuries resulted from Virginia’s crashes. The non-fatal crashes injured close to 1,400 pedestrians.

Richmond, Virginia Beach, and Norfolk experienced the highest citywide numbers of crashes. These three cities accounted for a combined total of almost 15,000 of Virginia’s collisions. Local law enforcement in Richmond dubbed a stretch of U.S. Route 360 called Hull Street Road as a “high injury network area” due to the number of vehicle fatalities, which came close to double that of other comparable roadways.

Hull Street Road combines highway speed limits with local shops and stores. Categorized as an “urban arterial,” the road runs alongside houses and a range of shops that cater to both local residents and commuters. Along with U.S. Route 60 and the Midlothian Turnpike, these roads create a high injury network where most crashes happen and account for 75% of Richmond’s total vehicle accidents.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Injuries That Result From a Crash?

If another driver caused your injuries, you may file a claim for compensation and recover your losses. You could also file a claim against a street and highway maintenance agency that neglected to repair damaged roadway infrastructure. A failure to repair surface hazards or post warning signs could cause vehicles to lose control.

You may need to show that you did not contribute in any way to causing the accident. Contributory negligence rules, such as those in Washington, D.C., could provide an opening for the defending party to claim you shared some responsibility for the crash. Depending on the circumstances, having even the smallest degree of responsibility for the crash could deprive you of compensation.

An experienced vehicle crash attorney can assist in preparing a persuasive claim against the responsible party and advise you of the types of loss recovery you may expect. You won’t need to deal with the potential complexities of proving another party’s responsibility for the crash all on your own.

Is It Harder To Win a Damage Claim if the Accident Did Not Occur Where Most Crashes Happen?

A knowledgeable attorney knows how to conduct a decisive investigation regardless of how and where an accident occurred. In some cases, however, even an obviously at-fault party and a location where most crashes happen could bring up unforeseen obstacles. Don’t take chances. Contact us today.

A skilled member of our team at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis, LLP, will apply proven strategies to help win your case. We don’t charge any fees unless we succeed.

About the Author
Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., and West Virginia injury attorney Justin M. Beall represents clients in a wide range of personal injury matters including catastrophic injury, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction accidents, medical malpractice and workers’ compensation claims.