Boston Globe “Blind Spot”

National deaths

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the United States. More than 36,000 people are killed annually — about 100 people each day — in motor vehicle crashes nationwide. That’s more than three times the number who die each year from skin cancer and more than twice the number who die from prescription opioid overdoses.


2018 Numbers:

  • 36,560: Total crash deaths
  • 5,369: Fatalities involving out-of-state drivers
  • 1,894: Fatalities involving out-of-state drivers with past convictions
  • 4,951: Fatalities involving large trucks

Deaths over the years

The number of fatalities from crashes has climbed in recent years, erasing previous declines and returning to levels from a decade ago.


1 in 10 drivers has an offense that doesn’t appear on their record TransUnion, which collects and analyzes bulk driver data, estimates that more than one in 10 drivers across the nation has at least one offense — ranging from speeding to vehicular homicide — that isn’t reflected on their official record. LexisNexis, another data collection company, reported a similar trend. In a nation of 227 million licensed drivers, that would add up to more than 22 million unaccounted-for offenders, among them, almost certainly, thousands, perhaps millions, who should have lost their licenses, temporarily or permanently.

State deaths

Trucking company violations

State-by-state responses to the Globe survey

This data was compiled by reporters Matt Rocheleau, Vernal Coleman, Laura Crimaldi, and editor Brendan McCarthy. It was written by Rocheleau.
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