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Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the US. In 2009, about 36,000 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes, and racial minorities were affected at different rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on these racial disparities.

The motor vehicle–related death rate was 11.7 deaths per 100,000 people in 2009. The death rate for males was 2.5 times that for females. In 2009, American Indian/Alaska Natives had the highest motor vehicle–related death rates among both males and females. About 4.3 percent of all American Indian/Alaska Native deaths and 3.3 percent of all Hispanic deaths were attributed to crashes, yet crashes were the cause of death for less than 1.7 percent of blacks, whites, and Asian/Pacific Islanders.

Among males, the American Indian/Alaska Native death rate was 2 to 5 times the rates of other races. Black males had the second-highest death rate, followed by whites, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Among females, the American Indian/Alaska Native motor vehicle–related death rate was 2 to 4 times the rates of other races. White females had the second-highest death rate, followed by blacks, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders.

From 2005 through 2009, death rates showed significant drops by sex among all races except for American Indian/Alaska Native women. The greatest decrease in rates for males occurred among American Indian/Alaska Natives. Among females, the greatest decrease occurred among whites.

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