Which Country Has the Highest Number of Road Accidents in 2023?

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Which Country Has the Highest Number of Road Accidents in 2023?

With millions of cars on the roads around the world, car accidents are an unfortunate reality. But have you wondered which country has the highest number of road accidents in 2023?

In this blog post, JMW looks into the countries with the most car accidents, compares road traffic deaths in developing and developed countries, and explores common causes of car accidents worldwide.

Top Countries with the Most Car Accidents

Two countries prominently feature in global car accident statistics: the United States and Japan. The United States reported two million road traffic accidents in 2018, resulting in more than three million injuries. Japan ranks second in the world for car accidents, with close to 500,000 accidents reported in the same year.

These statistics prompt an inquiry into the reasons behind such high accident rates in these two countries. 

United States

The United States tops the world in the number of car accidents. One of the primary reasons for this is the country’s extensive road network and high proportion of drivers. With millions of motorists travelling on American roads daily, the likelihood of accidents happening increases significantly.

Government efforts to reduce the occurrence of road accidents have been implemented, including increasing public awareness campaigns, enhancing road infrastructure, and enforcing more stringent traffic laws. However, the sheer size of the country’s road network and the number of drivers on the roads continue to make the United States a challenging environment for road safety.


Japan comes in second in the world’s car accident rankings. However, unlike the United States, Japan has reported a steady decrease in the number of fatalities in road traffic accidents over the past six years. In 2022, the country reported a record low of 2,610 fatalities, marking the sixth consecutive year of decline.

This decrease in fatalities is a positive sign, but thousands of people still lose their lives or suffer injuries in car accidents in Japan. The country must continue to work on improving road safety and reducing the number of accidents to protect its citizens and visitors alike.

Road Traffic Deaths in Developing and Developed Countries

Developing countries often face higher road traffic deaths due to factors such as poor road maintenance and lack of resources. Developed countries generally have lower rates of road traffic deaths due to better infrastructure and stricter traffic laws. Countries like India, China and Brazil have the highest number of road deaths, highlighting the challenges faced by developing nations in addressing road safety.

A deeper understanding of the disparity in road traffic fatalities between developing and developed countries requires an exploration of the distinct challenges confronting middle-income and high-income nations.

Middle-Income Countries

Over 90% of road traffic fatalities worldwide are attributed to middle-income countries. One of the primary reasons for the increased rate of car accidents in these countries is the lack of adherence to fundamental road safety standards in the vehicles sold, as well as insufficient regulations defining roadworthy vehicles.

The average mortality rate per 100,000 population in Africa, for example, is approximately 26. This high death rate highlights the importance of addressing road safety issues in middle-income countries. 

The challenges faced by middle-income countries are not insurmountable. With adequate investment in road infrastructure, enforcement of strict traffic laws, and promotion of alternative modes of transportation, these countries can make significant progress in reducing road traffic deaths.

High-Income Countries

As per the World Bank’s definitions based on gross national income (GNI) per capita, high-income countries usually record fewer road accident fatalities. The higher standards of road maintenance and stricter traffic laws in these countries contribute to the decreased number of road accidents.

Common Causes of Car Accidents Worldwide

Several causes of car accidents are common worldwide, irrespective of the country. These include:

  • Alcohol intoxication- drunk driving, or operating motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances, is a leading cause of car accidents worldwide
  • Inadequate vehicle maintenance - lack of maintenance, when a vehicle is not adequately cared for, can result in potential mechanical malfunctions and other safety hazards that may lead to an accident 
  • Inclement weather conditions - unfavourable weather conditions, such as rain, snow, fog, and icy roads, can reduce visibility and make it challenging to control a vehicle
  • Inattentiveness while driving -distracted driving, any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the task of driving (e.g., texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting the radio), is another significant cause of car accidents
  • Drowsiness while driving -driving while tired is a serious safety hazard as it impairs a driver’s ability to focus on the road and increases the risk of falling asleep at the wheel

Vulnerable Road Users: Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Motorcyclists

The World Health Organization identifies pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists as vulnerable road users. These individuals make up half of the people killed in road accidents worldwide and face higher risks in countries with inadequate road construction.

South-East Asia and the Pacific regions have the highest proportion of motorcycle deaths among vulnerable road users. In countries where roads are not designed with the safety of vulnerable road users in mind, the lack of features such as zebra crossings and bike lanes makes them particularly susceptible to accidents.

Talk to Us

To receive all the help you need to make a road traffic accident claim as a result of an incident that occurred abroad, contact our holiday accident solicitors today. Simply call us on 0345 872 6666, or fill in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you.

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