Oklahoma Car Accident Statistics: How Do They Compare to Other States?

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Travel Featured

Car accidents happen across the country every day, but some states seem to be plagued by dangerous roads. Is Oklahoma one of these states? Let’s take a look at the data and find out.

Oklahoma Vehicle Accident Statistics

When examining the data posted by the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office the most recently available data is for the years 2020 and 2021. In 2020, there were 61,739 total crashes statewide, and in 2021, that number jumped 7% to 66,074. That comes out to 169 and 181 crashes per day, respectively. Note that these include multi-vehicle accidents that injured people and single-car crashes that only resulted in property damage.

Per Capita Rates

However, it’s important to look at the accident rates as a function of the total population in Oklahoma, since states with more people will tend to have more crashes in terms of raw numbers.

According to the 2020 US Census, Oklahoma had a total population of 3,959,353, just under four million. We’ll use the same number for 2021 since there is no official data as the US Census is only conducted once every ten years.

For 2020, there accident rate was 1.56% per capita, and for 2021, it was about 1.66%. These numbers mean that the average Oklahoma citizen had roughly a 1.5% chance of being involved in a vehicle accident during those years.

Nationwide Data

Data for the country in general is a little more difficult to pinpoint because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration only keeps data on traffic crashes that result in a person’s death, known as fatal accidents, and does not maintain lists for accidents that didn’t involve the loss of life.

However, the Insurance Information Institute, a non-profit that provides information to insurance companies, has released the number of accidents (including fatalities, non-fatalities, and crashes that resulted in property damage) for the years 2020 and 2021.

Across the country, there were 5,251,006 total crashes in 2020 and 6,102,936 in 2021. As noted above, Oklahoma had 61,739 in 2020 and 66,074. That means that 1.175% and 1.08% of all vehicle accidents in the US during 2020 and 2021 respectively took place in the state of Oklahoma.

According to the 2020 US Census, 3,959,353 out of 331,449,281 US Citizens live in Oklahoma, which means the state has roughly 1.19% of the total US population. As this number is higher than the percentage of accidents listed above, we can conclude that Oklahoma was below the national average for car accidents per capita in the years 2020 and 2021.

Vehicle Fatalities

As the number of fatal car accidents in each state has been revealed, let’s take a quick look at them as well. There were 762 deaths on Oklahoma roads in 2021. Oklahoma City alone saw 99 of those deaths. Despite being 28th in population, Oklahoma ranks 21st in fatal crashes and the number of deaths and 8th in car accident deaths per 100,000 residents.

Summary and Conclusion

Although data on the number of car accidents is difficult to obtain because not every state reports non-fatal accidents and those figures are not tracked nationally by the United States Government, the information available to us shows that Oklahoma has a lower rate of car accidents per person than the national average.

However, the data also shows that Oklahoma has a higher number of fatalities from car accidents than 42 other states. From this, we can conclude that the odds of getting into a crash are lower but the risk of death is higher.

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