Statistics show that accidents take a heavy toll

Statistics published by the National Safety Council indicate that accidents killed 146,571 people in the U.S. alone in 2015. Another 4.3 million people in the U.S. received medical attention for injuries resulting from accidents.  Although statistics about accident victims are easy to find, data about the number of people who accidentally cause injury or death to another are not available. A conservative estimate, however, is over 1 million people per year join the ranks of CADIs.

When I had my accident, I had never met a CADI and had no one to talk with who could understand what I was going through as a result of their own experience.  It was years before I started talking with others who had accidentally injured or killed someone, and I found those conversations to be extremely helpful. The statistics below suggest that there are thousands of CADIs in your own state or city. Relatively few, however, are open about their experience.

  • Pedestrians:
    6,700  pedestrians died and about 160,000 received medical treatment for injuries after being hit by cars in 2015
  • Bicyclists:
    623 bicyclists were killed in collisions with motor vehicles in 2014
  • Car crashes:
    In the U.S. motor vehicle accidents killed 37,757 people in 2015; Another 4.3 million suffered injuries serious enough to require medical attention
  • Around the world:
    Worldwide, car accidents killed 1.423 million people in 2015 and injured 30 to 60 million
  • Other accidents:
    Workplace home and recreational accidents in the U.S. kill over 100,000 people per year and injure millions more

(Source: National Safety Council Injury Facts, 2017 Edition)

If you’d like to delve more deeply into the data, here are a few  places to start. Note that different organizations can publish slightly different statistics, reflecting their methodological choices:

National Safety Council

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization


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lucinda strehlow
lucinda strehlow
2 years ago

I would be interested in statistics which reflect what portion of CADI’s do NOT feel devastated by the event. My thought is that, for one reason or another, some people are more affected by inappropriate (by some definition) guilt than others. It’s not so much the event as the make-up of the person. Lots of people feel too much guilt and shame over a wide variety of experiences.

2 years ago

I was wondering about this too, My father hit and killed a pedestrian in central america when he was in his 20s – the man (who was apparently very intoxicated) tripped into the road just as my father was driving by. The man’s body hit the front of the car, slid up the hood, smashed the windshield, and when the car came to a stop the man’s body was apparently crumpled and bloodied in the passenger seat. My father, who has always been rather pragmatic about death and dying, said that he “felt bad” that the man had died, he… Read more »

Dave Porter
Dave Porter
4 years ago

I know this website focuses on human CADIs killing or injuring other humans, but are there any statistics or resources for humans unintentionally doing harm to animals? It can be just as devastating.

Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams
5 years ago

Do you have any contacts or recommendations for groups in Columbus Ohio? Mt brother in law is not a big “online” person but he needs help. He is a truck driver and it has always been his dream to own his own rig and go on the road. It had seemed his life was finally coming together as he now owns his own truck and is self employed. A month ago he accidentally struck and killed a man and he feels so defeated right now. I dont know if he can overcome the guilt. He really needs to listen to… Read more »

3 years ago

You have to help him see he is not alone. Maybe print a few pages/stories from this website to share with him. My accident was in 2009 and I remember those early months and years. It will help him to know that there are others who have been there.