National Safety Councils Reports Over 90 Percent of Crashes are Due to Human Error

30 Apr 2019

Since the National Safety Council began teaching courses on driver safety in 1964, it’s been the top leader in road safety. And, their goal is to get to zero fatalities by addressing the causes of crashes and how drivers, vehicles, technology and road systems play a role in creating safer roads. They encourage everyone to take life-saving measures and learn about traffic death trends.

Over 90 percent of crashes were due to human error, according to the National Safety Council.

Most of the errors drivers commonly make are:

  • Choosing incorrect defensive driving actions.
  • Detecting road hazards too slowly or missing them altogether.
  • Driving in an altered or distracted state (i.e. being distracted by a phone, inadequate sleep, driving under the influence).

Impaired Driving

More than one in eight drivers in the U.S. in the past year say they’ve driven when they believed they were over or close to the legal blood-alcohol limit.

Distracted Driving

Every year, thousands of drivers die in crashes due to cell phone distractions. Many think dashboard infotainment systems and hands-free devices are safe since vehicle manufacturers provide them, but research shows they can cause inattention blindness and cognitive distraction.

Teen Driving

Some teen statistics are:

  • Sixty-six percent of teenage passengers who die in a crash aren’t wearing their seat belt
  • Half of all teenagers will be in a crash before they graduate from high school
  • Twenty-five percent of vehicle crashes involved a driver who was underage and drinking
  • Fifty-eight percent of teenagers involved in a crash are distracted


Parental involvement doesn’t end when your teen gets their license. Teenage drivers who continue practicing driving with their parents raise their likelihood of avoiding a crash. Parents can also consider GPS tracking for teens to receive alerts if their teenager speeds or drives beyond set boundaries.


Adults require around seven to nine hours of sleep every day. Around half of adult drivers say they’ve been consistently driving while feeling drowsy. You’re three times more likely to be involved in a vehicle crash if you’re fatigued and even losing just a couple hours of sleep is close to the same effect of drinking three beers.

Child Passenger Safety

Vehicle crashes continue to be the top cause of child fatality. You can protect your children from crash risks by securing their safety belts. Also, way too many kids are dying in hot vehicles. A lot of people don’t realize vehicles can heat up extremely fast even on mild days, regardless of the time of year.

Fatality Estimates

Around 40,000 individuals were killed on U.S. roads in crashes in 2018. Another 4.57 million individuals were seriously injured to the point of requiring medical attention.

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