Columbus Car Accident Statistics

Every day, Columbus motorists sustain serious and life-changing injuries in car accidents. Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of accidental death, serious injury, and disability. Below are Columbus car accident statistics every driver should understand. 

If you have been seriously hurt in a car accident in Columbus, Ohio, contact the lawyers at Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers by calling their office at (614) 587-8423 for a free consultation. An experienced Columbus car accident attorney can help you explore your legal options for recovering compensation from a negligent driver.

How Common Are Car Accidents in the Columbus, Ohio Area?

How Common Are Car Accidents in the Columbus, Ohio Area?

In 2023, there were 14,390 accidents in the Columbus, OH, metro area. This includes 79 fatal crashes and 331 accidents with serious injuries. Most crashes (9,380) were property damage only. 

More than 7,200 people were injured in these crashes. There were 86 fatalities, 416 serious injuries, and 3,891 suspected minor injuries.

What Causes Columbus Car Accidents?

According to the Ohio Statistics and Analytics for Traffic Safety (OSTATS) system, the following are the most common variables in Columbus area accidents. 

Drugged and Drunk Driving

In 2023, there were 673 alcohol-related and 134 drug-related crashes in Columbus. In addition, 745 crashes had OVI (or DUI) as the primary variable assigned. 

Overall, 21 fatal crashes and 21 deaths were alcohol-related. Drunk drivers were involved in 24% of all traffic fatalities in Columbus and almost 5% of accidents. 


Speeding was one of the most common causes of crashes in Columbus. It was a major factor in more than 1,500 accidents. About one-third of fatal crashes in Ohio are caused by speeding. This includes driving above the posted speed limit or driving at an unsafe speed for the road or weather conditions. 

According to the Ohio Zero Deaths campaign, 60% of serious speed-related accidents involve road departure, and 30% are alcohol-related. Around 43% of speed-related serious injuries and deaths involve young drivers.

Distracted Driving

In 2023, there were 347 crashes in Columbus, with distracted driving named as the primary variable. However, many other accidents also involve distraction. A driver may be distracted when running a red light, failing to yield while merging, or striking a pedestrian in an intersection. 

Ohio’s new texting and driving law went into effect in October 2023 to reduce distracted driving accidents. The law makes using or holding a cell phone while driving a primary offense. There are exceptions, though: drivers can talk on the phone while holding it to their ear, use speakerphone without holding the phone, or use the phone while stopped at a red light.

Between 2017 and 2021, there were 5,757 distracted driving crashes in Franklin County. Across Ohio, OSHP issued 31,516 citations for distracted driving across the same five years.

Failure To Yield

Failure to yield is the leading factor attributed to Columbus car accidents. This happens when one driver does not give another vehicle or pedestrian the right of way when required by law. Most failure-to-yield accidents happen when changing lanes or merging into traffic. 

In 2023, there were 2,142 failure-to-yield accidents in Columbus. 

Running a Red Light or Stop Sign

In 2023, there were 1,013 accidents in Columbus caused by drivers running a stop sign or red light. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the number of people killed in these accidents is on the rise. 

Deaths caused by running a red light climbed 30% between 2012 and 2017. Nationwide, 939 people were killed in red light crashes in 2017, the highest number in a decade. 

Despite the high number of these accidents in Columbus, Ohio has a lower-than-average rate of red light fatalities per year at 2.0 per million people. The national average is 2.4 per million. The rate is much higher in neighboring states like Michigan (2.9/million), Indiana (3.0/million), and Kentucky (3.4/million).

How Common Are Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents in Columbus?

In 2023, there were 593 accidents involving non-motorists, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Overall, 23 pedestrians were killed in accidents in Columbus that year. There were 24 fatal pedestrian crashes in all of Franklin County, down from 35 fatalities in 2022. 

Overall, pedestrian accidents have been declining in Ohio, bucking the rising trend across the country. From 2019 to late January 2024, the number of pedestrian accidents in Ohio has remained between 2,300 and 2,600 statewide each year. 

In 2023, there were 2,479 pedestrian crashes in Ohio, 94% of which were non-fatal and 48% of which caused minor injuries. 

According to the Ohio Traffic Safety Office, speed and distraction are major factors in pedestrian accidents. 

When Do Car Accidents Happen in Columbus, OH?

Most car accidents happen on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. In 2023, there were 2,342 crashes on Fridays. Sundays had the fewest accidents at 1,780. 

The peak time for car accidents in Columbus is 3 pm to 7 pm. Between 4 and 6 pm, there were more than 1,000 accidents per hour over the course of the year. The fewest number of crashes happened between 3 am and 6 am. 

Where Do Car Crashes Happen in Columbus?

The following highways and roads are the most common sites for car accidents. Here is the number of crashes on these roadways in 2023. 

  • I-70: 668 accidents
  • US 23: 645
  • I-71: 566
  • US 40: 453
  • I-270: 416
  • US 33: 338
  • SR 3: 322
  • I-670: 306
  • SR 16: 250
  • SR 317: 232
  • SR 315: 220
  • SR 161 (Olentangy Freeway): 158
  • US 62: 151
  • SR 104: 69
  • SR 750: 62
  • SR 710: 54

I-70, I-71, and I-270 alone account for 1,650 (11.5%) of the 14,390 crashes in Columbus throughout the year.

Contact an Experienced Columbus Car Accident Lawyer

In a moment, a car accident can change your life forever. Have you suffered serious injury in a crash caused by someone else? You may be entitled to money to cover your medical bills, lost earnings, pain, and other losses. 

Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers has more than 71 years of combined experience representing accident victims in Columbus. We have recovered hundreds of millions in life-changing settlements and jury awards. 

Contact our law office today for a free case review with a Columbus car accident lawyer to discuss what we can do to help you.