Did you know that drunk driving is the leading cause of car accidents in the United States? In fact, one in three car accident fatalities is the result of drunk driving.
These shocking statistics should make you think twice about getting behind the wheel after drinking. If you or someone you know has been affected by drunk driving, make sure to get the help you need to stay safe on the road.
Below are some of the other most shocking stats.
What Percentage of Car Accidents Are Caused by Drunk Drivers?
It is estimated that almost 30% of car accidents in the U.S. are caused by drunk drivers. This means that on average, one out of every three accidents involves a driver who is under the influence.
Drunk driving accidents can result in serious injuries or death for both the driver and passengers involved.
Facts About Drunk Driving
Every day in the United States, 32 people die as a result of drunk driving car crashes. This is equivalent to one death every 45 minutes. Drunk driving is a serious problem that continues to take thousands of lives each year. Below are some other statistics:
Drunk driving statistics in 2021
The data showing final 2020-2021 statistics of drunk driving-related deaths have yet to be available to the public. However, history shows that drunk driving deaths are more frequent than other types of traffic fatalities in the U.S. Drunk driving is a serious problem in the U.S, and it is something that needs to be addressed.
In 2021, preliminary estimates from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report that 20,160 people perished on America 's roads, an 18.4% increase over 2019, as a result of speeding, impaired driving, and not wearing seatbelts.
Drunk driving statistics 2020
According to NHTSA there were 11,564 people killed in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2020, which is 14% higher than the previous year. The spike comes despite less traffic on roadways due to the pandemic.
2019 drunk driving statistics
In 2019, data show that there were 10,142 fatalities in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. This is a 5.3% decrease from the previous year. While the decrease was welcomed by many, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) said that the more than 10,000 preventable deaths per year are a clear indication that our country does not fully embrace the organization's core principles.
Drunk driving statistics by year (2006 - 2017)
According to NHTSA, in 2017, there were 10,874 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. This is a 1.1% decrease from the 10,996 people killed in 2016. Of the 10,874 people killed in 2017, 6,618 were drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher who were killed in single-vehicle crashes.
In 2006, there were 13,470 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. This is almost the same from the 13,451 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 1996. Of the 13,470 people killed in 2006, 8,615 were drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher who were killed in single-vehicle crashes.
How Many People Die From Drunk Driving?
According to NHTSA, the number of people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes has dropped over the past 20 years. In 1996, there were 13,451 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
However, that doesn't mean that the problem on drunk driving is gone. NHTSA noted that alcohol-impaired driving crashes are still a major problem. There are still more than 30 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes every single day.
Drunk driving fatalities by state
Every state has different penalties for drunk drivers. Some states have more severe penalties than others. In some states, first time offenders may face a short jail sentence, a fine, and loss of their driver's license. Repeat offenders may face a longer jail sentence, a higher fine, and loss of their driver's license for a longer period of time.
However, despite the penalties, drunk driving crashes are still a serious problem in many states in the United States.
As at 2021, the state with the highest drunk driving fatalities is Wyoming, followed by North Dakota and Montana. The state with the lowest drunk driving fatalities is the District of Columbia, followed by New York and Pennsylvania.
Drunk driving by age
As shown above, it is no secret that drunk driving is a problem in the United States. Every year, thousands of people are killed in accidents involving alcohol. What may be less well known, however, is that the risk of being involved in a drunk driving accident increases with age.
A recent study found that drivers over the age of 65 are more likely to be involved in a fatal drunk driving accident than drivers aged 16-20. In fact, while drivers aged 16-20 are involved in fatal drunk driving accidents at a rate of 5.5 per 100,000 people, drivers over the age of 65 are involved in fatal drunk driving accidents at a rate of 23.5 per 100,000 people.
Why are elderlies more likely to be involved in fatal drunk driving accidents? The study's authors suggest that as people age, they may become less aware of the dangers of drinking and driving. Indeed, seniors are more likely than younger drivers to have cognitive impairments and delayed reaction time associated with alcohol consumption.
Drunk driving and college students
Every year, college students across the United States make the decision to drink and drive. Unfortunately, this decision often has deadly consequences. According to recent data, almost 2,000 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die every year from alcohol-related injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.
Meanwhile, college-aged drivers are involved in almost 19% of drunk driving accidents. Moreover, according to some reports, approximately 18% of their peers under the age of 21 admit to driving under the influence of alcohol.
Drunk driving vs. gun violence statistics
As presented earlier, it is without doubt that the number of fatalities caused by drunk drivers has decreased significantly in the U.S over years, thanks to stricter laws and public awareness campaigns related to drinking and driving.
Despite this progress, drunk drivers continue to be a leading cause of death on American roads. In 2020, they accounted for 25% of all traffic fatalities. Drunk driving is a serious problem, but it is important to remember that it is not the only one.
Gun violence kills tens of thousands of Americans every year and injures many more. We must address both problems if we want to make our society safer for everyone.
According to The Gun Violence Archive, nearly 21,000 gun deaths excluding suicides were recorded in 2021. It was the highest annual total deaths recorded by the organization since it was founded in 2014.
Drunk Driving Prevention
The shocking statistics presented above only show how important for everyone to be aware of the dangers of drunk driving and to have a plan in place for getting home safely if they choose to drink.
One way to avoid drinking and driving is to have a designated driver. If you cannot find a designated driver, then you can call a taxi or Uber. Another option is to stay overnight at the home of a friend who does not drink. And finally, if all else fails, you can always sober up by taking a cold shower or drinking black coffee.
It is important to be aware of the shocking statistics associated with drunk driving. By understanding the dangers, we can work together to put an end to these preventable accidents. If you are ever in a situation where you feel like you might be driving drunk, please make alternative arrangements or call a taxi. Let's keep ourselves and our loved ones safe by always making responsible decisions behind the wheel.
If you are in Houston, Texas and is looking for a legal counsel for personal injury cases including wrongful death suffered in car and truck wrecks, don't hesitate to contact Attorney SGT Pike. He is an experienced personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled and won a number of wrongful death cases including drunk driving accidents.