Nell Zhoie April 13, 2018

There are plenty of causes for vehicle accidents and the most common is drunk driving. Drinking alcoholic beverages before driving poses health risks to your brain and cognitive skills. Thus, it also jeopardizes your motor skills that are needed for driving. When this happens, you may lose control over your vehicle and can lead to a fatal car accident.

The Statistics Behind Drunk Driving

To shed light on the issue of drunk driving and its reality, read further for a quick look at the numbers behind drunk driving.

  • 2016: Drunk driving casualties have decreased by 3.3 in the last three decades. However, it continues to claim lives further than 10,000 per year. This represents a 65% decrease since records began in 1982. Further, it represents a 49% decrease since the inception beginning of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility in 1991.
  • Drunk driving fatalities: There were around 28% alcohol-impaired driving fatalities that were accounted for in 2016. The rate for drunk driving casualties in every 100,000 population has lessened by 49% nationally, and around 68% for drivers under 21 years old. Those rates and others indicate positive achievements in fighting against drunk driving.
  • BAC level: NHTSA has declared around 37,461 deaths after traffic crashes in 2016. This is the latest figure available across the US. That statistic includes an estimate of 10,497 casualties in drunk driving accidents involving drivers with an illegal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level of greater than .08. Moreover, around 67% or 7,052 fatalities in drunk driving accidents were caused by a driver with a BAC of .15 or more.

National Statistics For Underage Drunk Driving Fatalities

The NHTSA has been recording alcohol-related car accidents since 1982. Let us discuss the national statistics behind underage drunk driving accidents.

  • 2016: Drivers under the age of 21 who were killed after drunk driving accidents has decreased around 80% since the highest records in 1982 to 1,031 fatalities in 2016. These casualties account for around 10% of drunk driving casualties across the US.
  • The rate of underage drunk driving: In 2016, around 1.2 people were killed in alcohol-impaired car accidents for every 100,000 Americans below 21 years old. That rate has significantly declined for 45% since the past decade.

State Statistics – Drunk Driving Fatalities

Drunk driving statistics may vary by state for multiple reasons.

  • S. total rate vs. a specific state’s rate: The numbers of drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 population constitutes the rate of drunk driving casualties in every 100,000 citizens in the measured state or population. This record allows comprehensive comparisons in the overall data.
  • National rate: In 2016, alcohol-impaired accidents was around 3.3% per 100,000 national population. Among D.C. and 22 states, drunk driving casualties was at or lower than the national level.


Drivers ought to be aware of the risks of drinking and driving. Don’t be like those drivers who continue to be the cause of car accidents due to drunk driving. Meanwhile, click here to know what to do legally in the event of a drunk driving accident.