Home Car Accidents 21+ Dog Car Accident Statistics for 2024
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21+ Dog Car Accident Statistics for 2024

dog car accident statistics

We’ve compiled an updated list of dog car accident statistics for 2024.

This report includes statistics from the United States and other parts of the world in recent years.

We’ll also look at the months or times of the day with the most incidents involving dogs. 

Let’s dive right into it. 

Key Dog Car Accident Stats for 2024

  • Approximately 100,000 dogs die yearly from riding truck beds.
  • 92,924 dogs were involved in car crashes in the US in 2022.
  • 40% of US drivers are distracted by their dogs while driving. 
  • 47% of US drivers don’t restrain their dogs while driving
  • U.S. drivers have 1 in 127 chances of hitting an animal.

Dog Car Accident Statistics 

92,924 dogs were hit by cars in the US in 2022 

According to State Farm’s records, the following were the number of animal-involved car accident deaths in 2022. 

  • Deer – 1,400,000
  • Unidentified animals – 189,715
  • Rodents – 110,976
  • Dogs – 92,924
  • Raccoons – 58,020
dog car accident statistics

40% of US dog owners engage in reckless driving behavior   

Setting your eyes off the road for over 2 seconds increases your risk of a crash by 2x, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Based on estimates, 40% of dog owners engage in reckless driving behavior as a result of their dog’s presence.

 Here’s what they do: 

  • Dog Petting – 52%
  • Restraining dog during braking – 23%
  • Preventing dog from going to the front seat – 19%
  • Reaching back to engage with dog – 18%
  • Holding dog or letting dog sit in lap – 17%
  • Offering dog food or treats – 13%
  • Playing with dog – 4%
  • Photographing the dog – 3%
dog car accident statistics

Most road accidents happen within a 25-mile radius of home  

The distance covered when driving also plays a crucial role in influencing crashes involving a dog inside the vehicle.

85% of dog owners said their driving trips with their pets are usually under 25 miles.

Others said it’s only 10 miles or shorter.

But most car accidents happen close to home.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the majority of these accidents happen within 25 miles of home.

Diversity in Car Accidents

There’s a 1 in 127 chance of hitting an animal in the US  

Based on the data collected by State Farm, it’s rare for the average American driver to hit an animal.

The odds of this happening are 1 in 127.

But in West Virginia, the chances are greater. 

The odds of drivers in West Virginia colliding with an animal are 1 in 38.

Almost 50% of U.S. drivers have been involved in at least 1 animal-vehicle collision  

The Journal of Environmental Management surveyed 1,942 new and seasoned drivers to get their experiences and thoughts on animal-vehicle collisions.

Researchers discovered that this kind of road accident is common and affects many drivers in the United States.

Almost half of the 1,942 respondents were involved in at least one animal-vehicle collision during their lifetime.

Factors that can affect how often vehicles hit animals are:

  • Drivers who are more experienced and cover longer distances every year are more likely to collide with an animal.
  • People who drive on smaller and less busy roads are more likely to be involved in animal-vehicle collisions than those who drive on well-maintained primary roads.
  • Male drivers are usually more involved in these accidents.
  • People who drive cars or motorcycles are less likely to be involved in these accidents than those driving trucks or other larger vehicles.
  • There’s no connection between an individual’s driving style and the frequency of animal-vehicle collisions.

Dog Ownership Stats

There are currently no specific official statistics on car accidents involving dogs.

Road traffic accident data from relevant organizations and government agencies, such as the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, may not completely show how many dogs get hurt or die in car accidents each year.

However, knowing how many people own dogs worldwide can help us gain valuable insights.

If more people have dogs, there’s a greater chance these pets could be involved in car accidents.

Let’s start right here in the United States.

65.1 million U.S. homes have at least one dog  

Statista surveyed pet owners in the United States between 2023 and 2024.

The result showed that around 65.1 million U.S. households owned at least one dog.

This makes dogs the most popular pets in the U.S.

Around 30% of households worldwide own a dog

Dogs are also popular pets outside of the United States.

Based on estimates, around 30% of households worldwide have a dog

700 million

The estimated number of dogs worldwide.

Here’s a breakdown of the global dog population by country:

  • United States – 65.1 million
  • Brazil – 55 million
  • China – 54.29 million
  • Japan – 20 million
  • United Kingdom – 12 million
  • India – 10.2 million (excludes stray dogs)
  • Argentina – 10 million
  • Spain – 9.31 million
dog population by country

Statistics on Driving with Dogs

Around 74% of dog owners in the US frequently drive with their dogs  

Most people drive with their pets.

Approximately 74% of dog owners in the United States drive with their pet several times a month.

But 65% of drivers do it only once a week.

27% of Americans always travel with their dogs  

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) surveyed 501 dog owners.

The result showed that 27% of dog owners often or always drive with their dogs inside their vehicles.

Another 41% of dog owners said they do it frequently or only when necessary.

Millennials (ages 27 to 42) and Gen Zers (ages 18 to 26) with a dog for the past 12 months are more inclined to drive with their pets for work within that period.

47% of US drivers don’t restrain their dogs  

Almost half of dog owners in America don’t ensure the safety of their dogs while driving.

Around 47% of drivers allow their dogs to move around freely inside the car.

9% of drivers admitted to taking pictures of their pets while they were driving.


The percentage of American drivers who don’t restrain their dogs while driving.

80% of people know it’s dangerous to drive with unrestrained pets

The American Automobile Association (AAA) conducted a survey in 2010.

The result showed that 80% of dog owners know the dangers of driving with unrestrained pets.

But only 16% of the survey respondents used pet restraints.

Statistics on Dog Homelessness

There are 143 million stray dogs worldwide

The State of Pet Homelessness Project reveals there are roughly 143 million dogs living on the streets across 20 countries.

Another 12 million dogs live in shelters.

The US has about 70 million stray dogs and cats  

According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the population of stray dogs and cats in the United States is around 70 million. 

That’s almost a quarter of the US civilian population (333 million in 2022). 

70 million

The estimated number of stray dogs and cats in the United States.

Peak Periods for Animal-Vehicle Collisions

November, October, and December are dangerous months for animal collisions

Collisions between animals and vehicles can happen in any state and at any time of the year.

But data from a 2023 study confirms that the peak months for animal collisions are November, October, and December, in this particular sequence.

Most car accidents usually happen on Saturdays, making it the deadliest day of the week.

On the other hand, Tuesdays see the fewest car-related deaths, on average.

Dogs are more likely to get hit by cars when the roads are busier.

This is especially true during the early morning and evening hours when dogs are most active.

This pattern happened consistently all week, with fewer accidents happening on weekends due to reduced traffic.

Dog Accident Stats in Other Parts of the World

0.41% of dogs in the UK were involved in a road traffic accident  

Researchers reviewed 200,000 electronic records of dogs in central and south-eastern England.

They discovered that 0.41%, or around 820 of these dogs, were involved in a road traffic accident.

This suggests that it’s relatively uncommon for dogs in the UK to be involved in such accidents than it is in the United States. 

However, nearly a quarter of these dogs died as a result of the accident.

In addition, researchers reported that puppies (especially those under three years old) and male dogs are more likely to be involved in car accidents. 

Golden Retrievers, Shih-Tzus, and West Highland White Terriers were less likely to get into road traffic accidents than mixed-breed dogs.


How many dogs die in car accidents every year?

About 100,000 dogs die every year in accidents related to riding in truck beds.

State Farm also reported that around 92,924 dogs were involved in vehicular collisions in 2021 and 2022.

5,250,837 collisions happened across the United States in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Given that almost 6 in 10 (56%) Americans drive with their dog, there’s a high likelihood there were dogs in some of these vehicles.


The estimated number of dogs that die yearly in the US from riding in truck beds.

What should I do If my dog was in a car accident with me?

In the unfortunate event that your dog gets involved in a car accident, here are some steps you can take:

  • Gently assess your dog for any signs of pain, disorientation, or visible injuries.
  • Maintain your dog’s calmness and control their movements to prevent further harm.
  • Visit a vet immediately for a professional examination, even if no injuries are apparent.
  • Collect relevant details from the accident scene for insurance claims, including contact info and a police report.
  • Watch for any new or delayed symptoms of discomfort or behavioral changes post-accident.
  • If another party is at fault, their insurance may cover vet expenses. Consider consulting an attorney for advice.


That’s all for our 2024 report on dog-related car accident statistics.

Based on available information, dog deaths or injuries resulting from car accidents are under-reported by relevant agencies.

Wild animals have a higher chance of getting hit by traffic compared to domestic animals, such as dogs.

Crashes involving dogs are usually a result of preventable circumstances, such as drivers failing to use pet restraints or interacting with their pets while driving.


1.Selective Insurance

2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

3. State Farm

4. Journal of Environmental Management

5. State Farm

6. Statista

7. World Population Review

8. Selective Insurance

9. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

10. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

11. American Veterinary Medical Association

12. The State of Pet Homelessness Project

13. PETA

14. State Farm


16. American Humane

Written by
Serah Waweru

A graduate of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, Serah Waweru is a personal injury and immigration attorney based in Tacoma, Washington. Her law firm serves clients in Washington and all over the United States. Serah has always been passionate about the law; she served as the Vice President of the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Student Bar Association and vice president of the university's Black Law Students Association. Attorney Serah Waweru is also a proud member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Washington State Bar Association.

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