Legally reviewed by: Jessica Anvar Stotz, JD, MBA

most dangerous vehicles

There are millions of vehicles in the US: in some states, there are more vehicles than people. Unfortunately, not all cars are created equal, and many models come up again and again in car safety reports because they get into more accidents than others.

It is important for consumers to be aware of these statistics, especially if they are planning on purchasing or leasing one of the vehicles on this top 10 list or if they already own one.

Consumers should also be aware of how they can use the lemon law in their state to seek relief from auto manufacturers if they experience persistent defects with their vehicles, as these defects can make the vehicle more dangerous to drive and a danger to others.

An already-statistically unsafe vehicle with an additional defect could be a recipe for disaster: keep reading to learn how to avoid encountering this.

The data seen in the table below was gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through their Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS).

FARS is a nationwide census run every year, with its most current completed year being 2022. CRSS is an institution-side system that collects crash reports from police-reported crashes.

Together, these datasets can be searched through the Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST), which is where the data in the table below comes from.

Vehicle Model Number Involved in Accidents (2020-2022)
Ford F-Series 8,675
Chevrolet Silverado 6,030
Honda Accord 3,659
Toyota Camry 3,625
Honda Civic 3,176
Nissan Altima 2,677
RAM Trucks 2,664
Toyota Corolla 2,614
GMC Sierra 2,470
Ford Explorer 1,892


Overview of Vehicle Safety in the US 

The number of yearly motor vehicle accidents is generally consistent year to year, though some interesting patterns exist when comparing 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Across all three years, there were more accidents (roughly 3,300 to 3,500) in the summertime, likely due to travel, than in the other seasons. Spring appears to be the safest season, averaging around 2,300 to 2,600, while winter is somewhere between summer and spring in terms of accident numbers.

Winter’s higher numbers are possibly a factor of the weather changing in places where snow and ice become road hazards. There were significantly less accidents in 2020 when compared to 2021 and 2022: 35,935 compared to 39,785 and 39,221 respectively. This is likely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which stopped a lot of travel and caused people to move around less.

There are many things that can lead to a car accident, from distracted driving to reckless speeding or maneuvering to vehicle defects. One of the less-often discussed causes of car accidents is defective parts that result in some crash-causing issue.

These make up less than 10% of all crashes but are still a significant issue because these accidents can be avoided with simple awareness and action on the part of the consumer getting necessary repairs performed and the manufacturers being held accountable having proper repairs available.

The lemon laws provide consumers with the ability to bring a claim against the auto manufacturer of defective vehicles that have undergone multiple repeat repair attempts while under warranty.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Cars

most dangerous cars usa

Below is a list of arguably the top ten most dangerous cars. Keep in mind while you read that these statistics are purely numbers and do not account for the number of cars of each model on the road.

For example, the Ford F-Series encompasses several different models of vehicle and is the highest sold pickup truck line in the United States, so it will naturally be in more accidents simply because of how many there are.

1. Ford F-Series

As the best-selling pickup truck line in America, the Ford F-Series is beloved by many who want a more rugged and capable vehicle. It also has a solid track record in terms of recalls, with only a handful being issued each year for small parts problems across their F-150 and F-350 line.

2. Chevrolet Silverado

Also, a truck, the Chevrolet Silverado is an attractive and popular choice for American consumers. The Silverado has also not had many recalls issued for it in the last several years, with only a few dozen at most each year since 2019.

One recent recall affected the tailgate of certain models, which could unexpectedly open while the vehicle is in motion. Additionally, the Silverado is known to experience the Chevy Shake Defect. Like the Ford F-Series vehicles, the Silverado is one of the top-selling trucks in America, which is likely why it makes this list.

3. Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is an exceptionally reliable vehicle, having been the top selling Japanese car in the United States for sixteen years and receiving very high reliability scores from many tests across the years.

Its spot on this list is likely once again earned by sheer volume of vehicles out driving, as recalls are less common. However, it has been included in a few recalls recently involving a defective fuel pump and a potentially cracked front airbag seat weight sensor.

4. Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry is another reliable vehicle that has been sold in the United States in extremely high numbers. As one of Toyota’s primary models, the Camry is a common vehicle to see driving around on the roads in America.

It receives a handful of recalls each year, many of which impact a lot of cars because of how many there are out in the wild. The overwhelming majority of these recalls do not result in an investigation.

5. Honda Civic

Another one of the world’s top-selling cars, the Honda Civic is no doubt a familiar name to most reading this article. It is seemingly reliable in terms of recalls, as it has only received a handful in the last several years and several versions of the vehicle have no recalls at all.

However, some models were included in the defective fuel pump recall, the cracked front airbag seat weight sensor recall, an electric power steering rack recall, and a brake booster recall.

Additionally, the civic was the subject of a 2023 suit alleging that steering wheels become “sticky” or locked while driving. Nevertheless, the Honda Civic generally receives favorable safety ratings.

6. Nissan Altima

Sold exclusively in North and South America for the beginning of its lifespan, the Nissan Altima is another popular car often seen on American roads.

Considered a mid-size car, the Altima has received favorable safety ratings in general and has few recalls in the last several years. It was recently included in a backup camera recall and is known to experience Automatic Emergency Braking issues.

It was also included in a CVT transmission lawsuit a few years ago, with affected owners receiving their settlements in 2020. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently doing an investigation into the engines of some Altimas, which may be failing in some situations.

7. RAM Trucks

Seeking to attract a wider audience, RAM trucks are the product of Dodge trying to market to more serious truck drivers with a separate line of more rugged and professional vehicles. Some models of RAM trucks have had recalls related to their diesel engines, steering column control modules, airbags and rearview cameras, but generally RAM trucks do not suffer from more recalls than the other cars on this list.

8. Toyota Corolla

Considered to be one of the four best-selling automobiles in the world, it should be no surprise that at least some Toyota Corollas would end up in accidents. Its popularity seems to be for good reason, since recalls have been rare over the last few years and safety reports are consistently well above average according to the NHTSA.

9. GMC Sierra

The GMC Sierra is mechanically the same as the Chevrolet Silverado, only with a different name and some different available features. Accordingly, it has similar reliability and popularity as the Silverado.

There are generally more recalls for Sierra model vehicles than for Silverados, but many of the recalls impact a very small number of vehicles. The recalls that have happened often involved the tailgates and tires of the vehicle, so if you own a Sierra, that may be something to look out for.

10. Ford Explorer

As the best-selling SUV of all time in America, the Ford Explorer is another popular name that many reading this will have heard of. It has received high safety ratings consistently, although there are quite a few recalls regarding rearview camera issues.

The Explorer was also included in a driveshaft recall that could result in the vehicle rolling away. It has also been included in a water pump class action lawsuit involving Duratec engines. Overall though, this vehicle is likely here because of its large volume of sales, not necessarily any defect with the model itself.

Things to Keep in Mind

As discussed in each vehicle’s individual section, a lot of the information about which cars are the most dangerous according to how many accidents they are in should be taken with a grain of salt.

Statistics that do not account for how many of a unit there are will almost certainly bias towards more common units rather than more dangerous ones, and that is likely the case here.

However, there is still some general information about vehicles and their safety consumers may want to arm themselves with.

Small cars are generally less safe than large cars for drivers, typically because they simply offer less protection and are lower to the ground than large cars.

Sedan and pickup truck accidents make up the most fatal accidents. Seasons can have impacts on how safe it is to drive, depending on the weather and capabilities of a vehicle.

In general, consumers should research potential vehicle purchases carefully and take recall history, safety ratings, general reputation, and vehicle features into consideration.

Lessons to Learn for the Road Ahead

As a consumer, there are several steps you can take to stay safe on the roads and keep yourself out of harm’s way. Being a vigilant and careful driver is always good and keeps you and your vehicle safe.

Knowing the different warning lights and signs your vehicle may display when something is wrong can also keep you safe and prevent something from going wrong.

Finally, consumers can check the NHTSA’s website regarding recalls to do research on potential vehicles they may want to purchase or see if their current vehicles are the subject of a recall.

If you are encountering persistent issues with your vehicle and you have found yourself repeatedly presenting it for warranty repairs, you may be dealing with a lemon.

Lemon law claims in California are based on a number of repeat repair attempts, meaning if you discover a defect, you should take it to an authorized manufacturer dealer to be repaired and document that repair.

If, after repeat repair attempts, the defect persists, you should contact a lemon law attorney to help you bring your claim against the manufacturer.

In California, plaintiffs who prevail in a lemon law claim have their attorney’s fees and costs paid for by the manufacturer, meaning it comes at no cost to them. If you are looking to bring a lemon law claim, contact the Lemon Law Experts today.

We have been serving consumers in California since 2009 and understand the lemon law thoroughly. We are dedicated to making sure consumers get the representation and compensation they deserve. Contact us today by calling (877) 885-5366 or by filling out our online form here!