Approximately one-quarter of all traffic fatalities involve alcohol-impaired drivers. This is a percentage that can vary widely from state to state and year to year. Whether it’s because of the number of drivers or the percentage of alcohol involved, drunk driving fatalities are a serious problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 10 thousand people died in drunk driving crashes in 2006.
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Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities are categorized as a result of an accident where the driver is impaired or when there is no driver present. The percentage of alcohol-related crashes varies by state, but overall, there is a small difference in the number of drunk driving fatalities per state. In general, the rate of alcohol-related fatalities is lower in rural areas and higher in urban areas. Approximately 28% of alcohol-related fatalities happen during the day and 68% happen at night. Fortunately, the number of drunk driving fatalities is down slightly from last year.
However, the number of alcohol-related crashes increased slightly in June. For example, in North Carolina, an alcohol-related crash occurred every 71 minutes in 2020. This rate is higher than the national average of 21.2 hours per year. It’s important to note that the numbers for smaller urban areas aren’t as accurate as those for larger metropolitan areas.
The number of alcohol-related crashes that involve a fatality is higher during the summer months. For example, the Fourth of July is the most deadly day of the year, with 4200 fatal accidents involving drunk driving. However, New Year’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day are also dangerous days. The Fourth of July also has the highest percentage of drunk driving fatalities of any holiday.
Drunk driving fatalities have decreased since 2004, but they are still an ongoing problem for American drivers. More than 10,000 people die annually due to drunk driving.
The rate of drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 people decreased by about 50 percent over the last 15 years. In addition, the rate of fatalities among drivers under 21 decreased by 70 percent. The age group most likely to die from an alcohol-related crash is young adults. People aged 16 to 24 are the age group that makes up one-quarter of all alcohol-related traffic deaths. However, the percentage of drunk driving fatalities varies widely among age groups. For example, people aged 55 and older made up about 26,000 of all alcohol-related traffic deaths.
However, the rate of alcohol-impaired fatalities is lower in Washington, D.C., and Utah. The percentage of drunk driving fatalities is below 20 percent in Utah.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there are approximately 111 million drivers who self-report having had a drink of alcohol. Of these drivers, approximately 77.9 percent are repeat offenders. This is a rate higher than the national average of 22 percent. The National Safety Council estimates that more than 10,000 people died in drunk driving crashes from 2006 to 2016. It is estimated that alcohol-related traffic deaths contributed to 5.26% of the total cost of societal harm.