Car Accidents vs. Gun Deaths Stats

by Andrew Mounier on June 18, 2013

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cars vs gunsAmong the most common ways that people die in the US are car accidents. Gun deaths get a lot more publicity, possibly because of the sensationalism of some of the cases or the outright tragedy involved in others. Children shooting each other accidentally, for instance, is a tragic situation that reporters cover all too often. Children die every day in car accidents, as well, and simply because something isn’t designed specifically to be deadly doesn’t mean that it cannot be so, particularly in the case of automobiles.


Car Accident Stats

Car accident stats are easy to come by. They are well-documented, generally quite accurate and collected on an ongoing basis. Gun death statistics can be trickier. There are so many political considerations involved that it can be hard to find accurate numbers. Here are the basics, however, as to how the two causes of death stack up.


In the US, in 2012, approximately 10 out of every 100,000 people died from firearm related causes. For traffic accidents, the numbers were 12 out of every 100,000, according to reporting in USA Today.


Vehicle deaths include those involving pedestrians, not just people in vehicles. According to the CDC, there were 33,687 deaths in 2012 resulting from car crashes, with approximately 13% of those deaths being pedestrians.


According to the CDC, the numbers for firearm deaths were very similar, with 31,672 people losing their lives to firearms in 2010.


Deaths related to firearms and vehicles are oftentimes conflated in arguments over gun control. It’s important to keep in mind that there are some significant differences.


According to the Suicide Prevention Center, referenced in USA today, there were approximately 87 deaths related to suicide by car in 1999 and 104 car suicides in 2009. In 1999, there were 16,599 suicides by gun and 18,735 such suicides in 2009.


Many car-related deaths are completely accidental, while many gun-related deaths are the results of intentional homicides. Cars have also benefitted from a great deal of research and design intended to increase their overall levels of safety. While guns can be handled safety by skilled individuals, they do present—out of design—the potential to kill at any point when they are loaded and a round is chambered.


Are They the Same?

The numbers may be similar at present, but gun deaths and car deaths are generally very different things. Many car wrecks occur because drivers are simply negligent. Driven properly and attentively, cars can be very safe. With a sloppy, inattentive driver they become downright deadly. A car accidents attorney can help you if you’ve been injured by a reckless or negligent driver and want to seek compensation for your injuries, property loss and pain and suffering.

Andrew Mounier
Andrew Mounier is a Content Engineer and Author. He has worked in marketing for over a decade and finds his passion in bringing concepts to life for the world to enjoy. He is also an avid legal blogger and currently working on a book with his wife about social entrepreneurship. He is a true Socialpreneur and finds that his goal in life is to be an agent for positive social change through both his writing and business endeavors.
Andrew Mounier
Andrew Mounier

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  • screwdriver1000

    we have been collecting data on automobile accidents for decades, and it still a political football….accidents, intent, age, race, gender, time of day, weather/lighting conditions, etc….

    ….how do you think the extremes of both sides, left and right, will handle the info if/when we start collecting meaningful info on gun incidents…?

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