Fatality Facts 2018Gender

Overview

Many more men than women die each year in motor vehicle crashes. Men typically drive more miles than women and more often engage in risky driving practices including not using safety belts, driving while impaired by alcohol, and speeding. Crashes involving male drivers often are more severe than those involving female drivers. Li, G.; Baker, S.P.; Langlois, J.A.; and Kelen, G.D. 1998. Are female drivers safer? An application of the decomposition method. Epidemiology 9:379-84.However, females are more likely than males to be killed or injured in crashes of equal severity, although gender differences in fatality risk diminish with age. Kahane, C.J. 2013. Injury vulnerability and effectiveness of occupant protection technologies for older occupants and women. Report no. DOT HS-811-766. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The following facts are based on analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Posted December 2019.

Age differences

The number of driver fatal crash involvements per 100 million miles driven in 2016-17 was 63 percent higher for males (2.1 per 100 million miles traveled) than for females (1.3 per 100 million miles traveled). Rates were substantially higher for males than for females ages 16-29, but were only slightly higher for ages 30 and older. The gender difference was largest among drivers ages 20-29. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 2020. [Unpublished analysis of April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017 data from the US Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the National Household Travel Survey]. Arlington, VA.

Passenger vehicle fatal crash rates per 100 million miles traveled, by driver gender, April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017
Age Male Female Total*
Crash involvements Miles Rate Crash involvements Miles Rate Crash involvements Miles Rate
16-19 2,019 31,732,691,896 6.4 1,003 30,677,731,652 3.3 3,023 62,410,423,548 4.8
20-29 7,327 187,497,565,846 3.9 3,246 198,148,511,278 1.6 10,578 385,646,077,124 2.7
30-59 12,875 785,270,175,131 1.6 6,011 558,224,868,022 1.1 18,888 1,343,495,043,154 1.4
60-69 3,019 207,918,951,320 1.5 1,380 136,711,746,704 1.0 4,400 344,630,698,024 1.3
≥70 2,924 104,684,593,355 2.8 1,377 66,739,614,422 2.1 4,302 171,424,207,778 2.5
Total* 28,182 1,317,103,977,548 2.1 13,020 990,502,472,079 1.3 41,234 2,307,606,449,627 1.8

In 2018, the rates of passenger vehicle occupant deaths per 100,000 people were much higher among males than among females for every age group except 0-15 years. Male passenger vehicle occupants 85 and older had the highest fatality rate, followed by males ages 80-84 and 20-24. Fatality rates were lowest among occupants 0-15 years old for both males and females.

Passenger vehicle occupant deaths per 100,000 people by age and gender, 2018
Age Male Female Total*
Population Deaths Rate Population Deaths Rate Population Deaths Rate
0-15 33,218,658 431 1.3 31,808,004 416 1.3 65,026,662 847 1.3
16-19 8,663,282 1,041 12.0 8,292,721 681 8.2 16,956,003 1,723 10.2
20-24 11,201,547 1,910 17.1 10,672,032 854 8.0 21,873,579 2,765 12.6
25-29 12,018,838 1,681 14.0 11,542,918 739 6.4 23,561,756 2,420 10.3
30-34 11,191,871 1,303 11.6 10,944,147 578 5.3 22,136,018 1,882 8.5
35-39 10,790,190 1,066 9.9 10,773,397 523 4.9 21,563,587 1,589 7.4
40-44 9,797,410 891 9.1 9,916,891 416 4.2 19,714,301 1,307 6.6
45-49 10,263,995 937 9.1 10,483,140 455 4.3 20,747,135 1,392 6.7
50-54 10,277,207 900 8.8 10,607,357 419 4.0 20,884,564 1,319 6.3
55-59 10,669,327 1,013 9.5 11,271,658 512 4.5 21,940,985 1,525 7.0
60-64 9,729,536 841 8.6 10,602,115 471 4.4 20,331,651 1,313 6.5
65-69 8,034,813 720 9.0 9,052,080 429 4.7 17,086,893 1,149 6.7
70-74 6,211,272 645 10.4 7,194,151 413 5.7 13,405,423 1,058 7.9
75-79 4,144,674 556 13.4 5,122,392 388 7.6 9,267,066 944 10.2
80-84 2,590,366 450 17.4 3,536,942 319 9.0 6,127,308 769 12.6
≥85 2,325,693 474 20.4 4,218,810 386 9.1 6,544,503 860 13.1
Total 161,128,679 14,874 9.2 166,038,755 8,007 4.8 327,167,434 22,891 7.0

Alcohol involvement

Each year from 1982 to 2018, the proportion of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at or above 0.08 percent has been substantially higher for males than for females.

Estimated number and percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers with BACs ≥ 0.08 percent, 1982-2018
Year Male Female Total*
Drivers killed Estimated deaths with BACs ≥ 0.08 Drivers killed Estimated deaths with BACs ≥ 0.08 Drivers killed Estimated deaths with BACs ≥ 0.08
Number Number % Number Number % Number Number %
1982 15,129 8,529 56 4,534 1,495 33 19,664 10,024 51
1983 14,620 8,070 55 4,716 1,458 31 19,338 9,529 49
1984 14,934 7,856 53 5,366 1,523 28 20,300 9,379 46
1985 14,768 7,325 50 5,288 1,348 25 20,058 8,674 43
1986 15,935 7,950 50 5,564 1,444 26 21,503 9,396 44
1987 16,133 7,787 48 6,022 1,554 26 22,157 9,343 42
1988 16,744 8,080 48 6,140 1,500 24 22,884 9,581 42
1989 16,284 7,710 47 6,269 1,491 24 22,554 9,201 41
1990 15,901 7,591 48 6,049 1,380 23 21,953 8,973 41
1991 14,824 6,916 47 5,727 1,326 23 20,551 8,242 40
1992 14,021 6,216 44 5,550 1,217 22 19,573 7,434 38
1993 14,298 6,114 43 5,737 1,213 21 20,036 7,328 37
1994 14,612 5,898 40 6,034 1,184 20 20,647 7,083 34
1995 15,164 6,216 41 6,293 1,272 20 21,457 7,488 35
1996 15,066 6,063 40 6,563 1,272 19 21,631 7,336 34
1997 15,023 5,819 39 6,683 1,248 19 21,711 7,069 33
1998 14,975 5,712 38 6,651 1,232 19 21,627 6,945 32
1999 15,238 5,832 38 6,658 1,161 17 21,899 6,994 32
2000 15,323 5,844 38 6,495 1,283 20 21,819 7,127 33
2001 15,396 5,954 39 6,465 1,250 19 21,862 7,205 33
2002 15,907 6,182 39 6,629 1,199 18 22,537 7,381 33
2003 15,551 5,938 38 6,647 1,182 18 22,200 7,120 32
2004 15,390 5,804 38 6,562 1,148 17 21,952 6,952 32
2005 15,564 5,897 38 6,386 1,205 19 21,953 7,104 32
2006 15,199 5,776 38 6,390 1,387 22 21,592 7,164 33
2007 14,648 5,841 40 5,892 1,216 21 20,542 7,057 34
2008 13,022 5,211 40 5,239 1,067 20 18,266 6,280 34
2009 11,928 4,743 40 4,905 1,048 21 16,834 5,791 34
2010 11,103 4,114 37 4,923 1,062 22 16,029 5,177 32
2011 10,880 4,112 38 4,677 951 20 15,561 5,065 33
2012 11,234 4,263 38 4,681 941 20 15,915 5,205 33
2013 10,957 4,121 38 4,617 985 21 15,577 5,109 33
2014 10,978 3,937 36 4,514 967 21 15,495 4,906 32
2015 11,828 3,916 33 4,795 998 21 16,629 4,916 30
2016 12,504 4,118 33 5,129 1,027 20 17,641 5,149 29
2017 12,571 4,101 33 5,173 1,013 20 17,751 5,116 29
2018 12,107 3,896 32 5,056 1,049 21 17,168 4,946 29

Speeding

Each year from 1982 to 2018, speeding was identified as a contributing factor for a greater proportion of male drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes than for female drivers killed in crashes.

Percentage of fatally injured male and female drivers who were coded as speeding, 1982-2018
Year Male Female Total*
Drivers killed Speeding related Drivers killed Speeding related Drivers killed Speeding related
Number Number % Number Number % Number Number %
1982 15,129 5,682 38 4,534 1,068 24 19,664 6,750 34
1983 14,620 5,250 36 4,716 1,060 22 19,338 6,310 33
1984 14,934 5,384 36 5,366 1,197 22 20,300 6,581 32
1985 14,768 5,515 37 5,288 1,256 24 20,058 6,771 34
1986 15,935 6,110 38 5,564 1,302 23 21,503 7,413 34
1987 16,133 5,977 37 6,022 1,414 23 22,157 7,392 33
1988 16,744 6,294 38 6,140 1,399 23 22,884 7,693 34
1989 16,284 5,905 36 6,269 1,453 23 22,554 7,358 33
1990 15,901 5,573 35 6,049 1,275 21 21,953 6,850 31
1991 14,824 5,206 35 5,727 1,284 22 20,551 6,490 32
1992 14,021 4,782 34 5,550 1,205 22 19,573 5,988 31
1993 14,298 4,732 33 5,737 1,197 21 20,036 5,930 30
1994 14,612 4,688 32 6,034 1,276 21 20,647 5,965 29
1995 15,164 5,040 33 6,293 1,353 22 21,457 6,393 30
1996 15,066 4,942 33 6,563 1,439 22 21,631 6,383 30
1997 15,023 4,852 32 6,683 1,449 22 21,711 6,303 29
1998 14,975 4,802 32 6,651 1,361 20 21,627 6,163 28
1999 15,238 4,779 31 6,658 1,353 20 21,899 6,134 28
2000 15,323 4,659 30 6,495 1,398 22 21,819 6,057 28
2001 15,396 4,792 31 6,465 1,309 20 21,862 6,102 28
2002 15,907 5,348 34 6,629 1,461 22 22,537 6,809 30
2003 15,551 5,041 32 6,647 1,451 22 22,200 6,492 29
2004 15,390 4,948 32 6,562 1,399 21 21,952 6,347 29
2005 15,564 5,149 33 6,386 1,392 22 21,953 6,542 30
2006 15,199 5,141 34 6,390 1,448 23 21,592 6,590 31
2007 14,648 4,939 34 5,892 1,291 22 20,542 6,231 30
2008 13,022 4,368 34 5,239 1,211 23 18,266 5,579 31
2009 11,928 3,964 33 4,905 1,099 22 16,834 5,063 30
2010 11,103 3,704 33 4,923 1,172 24 16,029 4,878 30
2011 10,880 3,609 33 4,677 1,013 22 15,561 4,624 30
2012 11,234 3,681 33 4,681 1,056 23 15,915 4,737 30
2013 10,957 3,433 31 4,617 1,020 22 15,577 4,455 29
2014 10,978 3,329 30 4,514 920 20 15,495 4,250 27
2015 11,828 3,363 28 4,795 956 20 16,629 4,320 26
2016 12,504 3,511 28 5,129 1,035 20 17,641 4,549 26
2017 12,571 3,420 27 5,173 927 18 17,751 4,350 25
2018 12,107 3,307 27 5,056 882 17 17,168 4,190 24