Drunk-Driving Facts and Figures
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is joining forces with law enforcement nationwide during the 2018 Labor Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Overhigh-visibility enforcement campaign, which runs from August 17 through September 3, 2018. The enforcement campaign coincides with the 2018 Labor Day holiday weekend, which is one of the deadliest times of the year in terms of drunk-driving fatalities. With NHTSA’s support, State and local law enforcement agencies across the nation are stepping-up enforcement to put an end to drunk driving, showing zero tolerance in an effort to save lives.
- Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 of higher). In 2016, there were 10,497 people killed in these preventable crashes. In fact, on average, more than 10,000 people have died each year (2012 to 2016) in drunk-driving crashes.To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing, with no survivors.
- It is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher in all 50 States and the District of Columbia—no exceptions.
- Drug-impaired driving is an increasing problem on our nation’s roads. It is illegal to drive while drug-impaired, period. It’s essential for drivers to understand: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI.Driving while impaired by any substance is deadly and illegal.
- In 2016, almost one in five children (14 and younger) killed in traffic crashes were killed in drunk-driving crashes. Fifty-four percent of the time, it was the child’s own driver who was drunk.
- Despite the fact that it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, one person is killed every 50 minutes by a drunk driver on our nation’s roads.
- During the 2016 Labor Day holiday, 36 percent of fatalities in traffic crashes involved a drunk driver, which was one of the lowest percentages over the five-year period from 2012 to 2016.
- Men are more likely than women to be driving drunk in fatal crashes. In 2016, 21 percent of males were drunk in these crashes, compared to 14 percent of females.
- In 2016, motorcycle riders involved (killed and survived) in fatal crashes had higher percentages of alcohol impairment than any other type of motor vehicle driver (25% for motorcycle riders, 21% for passenger cars, 20% for light-truck drivers, and 2% for drivers of large trucks).
Labor Day Statistics
- During the 2016 Labor Day holiday period (6 p.m. September 2– 5:59 a.m. September 6), there were 433 crash fatalities nationwide. Forty-three percent of those fatal crashes involved drivers who had been drinking (.01+ BAC). Of the fatal crashes, more than one-third (36%) involved drivers who were drunk (.08+ BAC), and one-fourth (25%) involved drivers who were driving with a BAC almost twice the legal limit (.15+ BAC).
- In fatal crashes during the month of August over the five-year period of 2012-2016, almost 10% of the drunk drivers involved, with a BAC of .08 or higher, had one or more previous convictions for drunk driving.
- Among the drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 who were killed in crashes over the Labor Day holiday period in 2016, 47 percent of those fatalities involved drunk drivers with BACs of .08 or higher.
Safely Plan Your Labor Day
Don’t let plans get away from you—it’s imperative to your safety, and the safety of others, to plan a responsible ride home from the party. If you leave your house unprepared to get home safely, you may not be in the right frame of mind to make the best choices by the end of the night. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a safe night of fun:
- Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get home safely.
- Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide&hl=en), and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices: (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8). SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
- Use your community’s sober ride program.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement agency.
- Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
Drunk Driving Comes at a Cost
Drunk driving can cost you your life, but it can also cost you financially. Here’s how:
- If you’re caught drinking and driving, you could face jail time. Imagine trying to explain that to your friends and family or your place of employment if you’re unable to report to the office.
- On average, a DUI can set you back $10,000 in attorney fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates,car towing and repairs, and more.
- In addition to the human toll drunk driving takes on our country, the financial impact is devastating as well: based on 2010 numbers (the most recent year for which cost data is available), impaired-driving crashes costs the United States $44 billion annually.
For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Overcampaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.