Edgar Snyder & Associates®
A Law Firm Representing Injured People
1-866-9-4EDGAR
Toll Free 24/7 (1-866-943-3427)
Enter your phone number and we'll call you.
- -

Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

Drink and car keys

Our lawyers know the emotional and physical damage caused by people who drink and drive. If you've been hurt in a drunk driving accident, you want a lawyer who understands your needs. When you hire us, our experience goes to work as we fight for the money you deserve. Contact us today for a free legal evaluation.

Looking for more statistics? View our accident statistics page.

Understanding Drunk Driving Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) refers to drunk driving crashes as "alcohol-impaired-driving" accidents. The NHTSA's figures often change as more data becomes available. The following statistics are estimates and subject to fluctuation. But even if the numbers change with time, the lesson remains the same – drunk driving claims lives.

Please note that some 2012 and 2013 national and Pennsylvania drunk driving accident statistics have not yet been released. Check back frequently for updated stats and facts on crashes involving alcohol and drunk driving deaths.

2012 Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Accident Statistics

  • Drinking drivers contributed to 10,941 crashes, including 217 fatal crashes in Pennsylvania in 2012.
  • There were 404 alcohol-related deaths, which is a decrease from 2011.
  • Alcohol-related crashes increased to 11,956 in 2012.
  • Approximately 18% of the driver deaths in people ages 16-20 were drinking drivers.
  • Of drivers ages 21-25 killed in accidents, 40% were drinking drivers.
  • In 2012, alcohol-related deaths decreased from 428 to 404 in 2012.
  • Three-fourths of the drinking drivers in traffic crashes were males.
  • Each day on average, there were 33 alcohol-related crashes. About 24 people were injured every day in 2012 in accidents in Pennsylvania.
  • Alcohol-related accidents represented 31% of all traffic collisions.
  • Over half of the fatal accidents that involved alcohol (52%) occurred on Saturday and Sunday.
  • There were 954 crashes involving underage drinking drivers in 2012.

Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Statistics (2011)

  • In 2011, Pennsylvania experienced a decrease in drunk driving accidents. Alcohol-related crashes fell from 12,426 to 11,805.
  • There were 428 drunk driving deaths in Pennsylvania in 2011.
  • 26 percent of drunk driving deaths in 2011 were in the 16-20 age group.
  • In 2011, alcohol-related deaths were 33% of the total traffic deaths, nearly the same as in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
  • On average each day, 32 crashes alcohol-related crashes occurred in 2011.
  • Additionally, 1.2 persons were killed and 23 persons were injured on average each day in Pennsylvania in 2011 because of an alcohol-related accident.

Pennsylvania & National Drunk Driving Accident Statistics (2010)

  • Nationally, alcohol-related deaths declined in 2010 by 4.9%. However, they still made up 31% of the overall traffic fatalities in 2010.
  • In 2010, there were 12,426 alcohol-related vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania, which was a decrease from 2009 (12,712).
  • In 2010, there were 459 fatalities that involved alcohol in Pennsylvania -- an increase from 449 in 2009. They accounted for 35% of all traffic collision deaths.
  • Nearly one-third (31%) of driver deaths ages 16-20 were drinking drivers, which is an increase from 2009.
  • One-half (50%) of deaths ages 21 to 25 were drinking drivers, up from 44% in 2009. The 26-30 age range improved to 45%, down from 51% in 2009.
  • In 2010, 459 people died in alcohol-related crashes.
  • Nearly three-fourths (72%) of drinking drivers in crashes were male.
  • The majority of alcohol-related crashes occurred when it was dark, usually on the weekends.
  • In 2010, 34 alcohol-related crashes occurred in Pennsylvania every day (on average).
  • In 2010, 26 people were injured in alcohol-related crashes in Pennsylvania every day (on average).

United States Drunk Driving Car Accident Statistics (2009)

  • Three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives.
  • Of fatal accidents in 2009, 32 percent involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
  • On average, one person died every 48 minutes in 2009 due to an alcohol-impaired driver.
  • In 2009, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico made it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. Of the 10,839 people who died in an alcohol-related crash, 7,281 (67 percent) had drivers with BACs above the legal limit.
  • For fatal crashes occurring from midnight to 3 a.m., 66 percent involved alcohol-impaired driving.
  • On New Year's Day, 468 people were killed in car accidents. Alcohol-impaired driving contributed to 40 percent of them.
  • Fatal crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers occurred four times more at night than during the day (37 percent versus 9 percent).
  • Of the drivers involved in fatal crashes, 30 percent of males had a BAC of .01+ and 25 percent had a BAC of .08+; 16 percent of women had a BAC of .01+ and 14 percent had a BAC of .08+.
  • Of people ages 21 to 24 involved in fatal crashes, 35 percent had a BAC above the legal limit.
  • In 2009, 14 percent of children ages 14 and younger killed in crashes died because of alcohol.
  • More than 181 children were killed due to drivers who were drunk.
  • Drivers with a BAC level of .08 or higher in fatal crashes were eight times more likely to have a prior conviction for driving while under the influence.
  • The most frequently recorded BAC level among drinking drivers in fatal crashes was .17, which is more than twice the legal limit.

Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Car Accident Statistics (2009)

  • There were 449 alcohol-related auto accident deaths in Pennsylvania in 2009.
  • More than 10,800 crashes in PA involved drinking drivers; 215 of them were fatal.
  • Nearly 450 people died in 2009 because of an alcohol-related accident in Pennsylvania.
  • For drivers ages 16 to 20 involved in fatal crashes, 27 percent of them involved alcohol.
  • For drivers ages 21 to 25, 44 percent of drivers killed had been drinking.
  • In 2009, 36 percent of the total traffic deaths were alcohol-related.
  • Nearly three-quarters of drinking drivers in PA were male.
  • Most alcohol-related crashes happened at night, usually during the weekends (72 percent).
  • On average, 26 people were injured in alcohol-related crashes every day in PA.
  • There were 1,294 underage drinking drivers involved in crashes in PA in 2009.

The following table of stats shows the total state-by-state auto accident fatalities in 2008 and the percentage of car crash deaths that involved a driver who had .08% blood-alcohol content or higher.

2009 Total Auto Accident Fatalities and Drunk Driving Deaths in the United States
State Total
Crash
Deaths
Drunk
Driving
Deaths
Pct.
of
Total
State Total
Crash
Deaths
Drunk
Driving
Deaths
Pct.
of
Total
Alabama 848 280 33% Montana 221 81 36%
Alaska 64 20 31% Nebraska 223 66 30%
Arizona 807 219 27% Nevada 243 68 28%
Arkansas 585 168 29% New Hampshire 110 30 27%
California 3,081 950 31% New Jersey 583 149 25%
Colorado 465 158 34% New Mexico 361 114 32%
Connecticut 223 99 44% New York 1,156 321 28%
Delaware 116 45 38% North Carolina 1,314 363 28%
D.C. 29 10 35% North Dakota 140 54 38%
Florida 2,558 770 30% Ohio 1,021 324 32%
Georgia 1,284 331 26% Oklahoma 738 235 32%
Hawaii 109 52 48% Oregon 377 115 30%
Idaho 226 58 26% Pennsylvania 1,256 406 32%
Illinois 911 319 35% Rhode Island 83 34 40%
Indiana 693 210 30% South Carolina 894 377 42%
Iowa 372 96 26% South Dakota 131 53 40%
Kansas 386 154 40% Tennessee 989 303 31%
Kentucky 791 194 25% Texas 3,071 1,235 40%
Louisiana 821 295 36% Utah 244 40 16%
Maine 159 47 29% Vermont 74 23 32%
Maryland 547 162 30% Virginia 757 243 32%
Massachusetts 334 108 32% Washington 492 206 42%
Michigan 871 246 28% West Virginia 356 115 32%
Minnesota 421 108 26% Wisconsin 561 213 38%
Mississippi 700 234 33% Wyoming 134 47 35%
Missouri 878 300 34% Total U.S. 33,808 10,839 32%

United States Drunk Driving Car Accident Statistics (2008)

  • There were 11,773 drunk driving deaths in 2008.
  • 2008 showed a 9.7% decrease from 2007 in alcohol-impaired driving deaths.
  • Drunk driving deaths (11,773) accounted for 32% of the total amount of United States car accident deaths (37,261) in 2008.
  • 1,347 children ages 14 and younger died as occupants in car accidents in 2008. Of those deaths, 216 (approx 16%) were the direct result of drunk drivers.
  • Along with the 1,347 child occupant fatalities, another 34 children died as pedestrians or bikers who were hit by drunk drivers.
  • Nighttime drivers were four times more likely to die in drunk driving crashes in 2008 than those driving during the daytime.
  • In 2008, weekend drivers were twice as likely to be involved in drinking and driving car crashes than weekday drivers.
  • The 21-24 age group accounted for 34% of all alcohol-impaired-drivers who died in accidents in 2008. The 25-34 demographic accounted for 31%, while those from 35-44 years of age accounted for 25%.
  • Despite being under the legal drinking age, American teens from the ages of 16-20 were more likely to be killed while driving under the influence than adults ages 55-64. Teens accounted for 17% of all drivers who were involved in drunk driving crashes, while those from 55-64 accounted for 12%.
  • Of the drunk driving crashes where seat belt use was known, nearly 75% of all drunk drivers killed in accidents in 2008 weren't wearing seat belts.
  • In the United States, a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher is considered above the legal limit in nearly every state. The most frequently recorded BAC level among drivers who were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving accidents in 2008 was .16, or twice the legal limit.
  • Drunk drivers who were over the legal limit when they died in 2008 were eight times more likely to have been previously convicted for drunk driving.
  • In 2008, 6,316 passenger vehicle drivers were over the legal limit when car crashes claimed their lives.
  • In 2008, it was more dangerous to drive drunk on a motorcycle than in any other vehicle. The percentage of bikers with a BAC level of .08 or greater when they died in a crash was higher than the amount of drunk drivers who died while operating other vehicle types.

The following table of stats shows the total state-by-state auto accident fatalities in 2008 and the percentage of car crash deaths that involved a driver who had .08% blood-alcohol content or higher.

2008 Total Auto Accident Fatalities and Drunk Driving Deaths in the United States
State Total
Crash
Deaths
Drunk
Driving
Deaths
Pct.
of
Total
State Total
Crash
Deaths
Drunk
Driving
Deaths
Pct.
of
Total
Alabama 966 315 33% Montana 229 91 40%
Alaska 62 21 34% Nebraska 208 55 26%
Arizona 937 266 28% Nevada 324 107 33%
Arkansas 600 171 29% New Hampshire 139 45 32%
California 3,434 1,029 30% New Jersey 590 154 26%
Colorado 548 173 32% New Mexico 366 105 29%
Connecticut 264 86 33% New York 1,231 341 28%
Delaware 121 45 37% North Carolina 1,433 423 30%
D.C. 34 9 26% North Dakota 104 47 45%
Florida 2,978 875 29% Ohio 1,190 356 30%
Georgia 1,493 416 28% Oklahoma 749 244 33%
Hawaii 107 42 40% Oregon 416 136 33%
Idaho 232 78 34% Pennsylvania 1,468 496 34%
Illinois 1,043 362 35% Rhode Island 65 25 38%
Indiana 814 208 26% South Carolina 920 403 44%
Iowa 412 89 22% South Dakota 119 34 29%
Kansas 385 145 38% Tennessee 1,035 327 32%
Kentucky 826 200 24% Texas 3,382 1,269 38%
Louisiana 912 338 37% Utah 275 46 17%
Maine 155 43 28% Vermont 73 12 16%
Maryland 591 152 26% Virginia 824 294 36%
Massachusetts 363 124 34% Washington 521 182 35%
Michigan 980 282 28% West Virginia 380 128 34%
Minnesota 456 135 30% Wisconsin 605 208 34%
Mississippi 783 266 34% Wyoming 159 67 42%
Missouri 960 310 33% Total U.S. 37,261 11,773 32%

National Drunk Driving Car Crash Statistics (2007)

The following stats represent total state-by-state auto accident fatalities in 2007 and the percentage of car crash deaths that involved a driver who had .08% blood-alcohol content or higher.

2007 Total Auto Accident Fatalities and Drunk Driving Deaths in the United States
State Total
Crash
Deaths
Drunk
Driving
Deaths
Pct.
of
Total
State Total
Crash
Deaths
Drunk
Driving
Deaths
Pct.
of
Total
Alabama 1,110 377 34% Montana 277 105 38%
Alaska 82 25 30% Nebraska 256 77 30%
Arizona 1,071 337 31% Nevada 373 118 32%
Arkansas 649 181 28% New Hampshire 129 34 26%
California 3,995 1,132 28% New Jersey 724 201 28%
Colorado 554 167 30% New Mexico 413 132 32%
Connecticut 296 111 38% New York 1,332 377 28%
Delaware 117 47 40% North Carolina 1,676 497 30%
D.C. 44 16 36% North Dakota 111 53 48%
Florida 3,213 917 29% Ohio 1,255 389 31%
Georgia 1,641 445 27% Oklahoma 766 223 29%
Hawaii 138 44 32% Oregon 455 148 33%
Idaho 252 71 28% Pennsylvania 1,491 504 34%
Illinois 1,248 439 35% Rhode Island 69 22 32%
Indiana 898 224 25% South Carolina 1,077 464 43%
Iowa 446 108 24% South Dakota 146 44 27%
Kansas 416 109 26% Tennessee 1,211 377 31%
Kentucky 864 212 25% Texas 3,466 1,333 38%
Louisiana 993 375 38% Utah 299 56 19%
Maine 183 66 36% Vermont 66 22 33%
Maryland 614 178 29% Virginia 1,027 303 30%
Massachusetts 434 155 36% Washington 571 195 34%
Michigan 1,087 304 28% West Virginia 432 138 32%
Minnesota 510 173 34% Wisconsin 756 314 42%
Mississippi 884 316 36% Wyoming 150 50 33%
Missouri 992 333 34% Total U.S. 41,259 13,041 32%
  • In 2007, approximately 13,041 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents.
  • Thirty-two states had decreases in drunk driving fatalities compared to 2006, and 18 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had increases.
  • California has the largest decrease in fatalities among the states – there were 117 fewer drunk driving deaths in 2007 than there were in 2006.
  • North Carolina had the largest increase in drunk driving deaths – 66 more in 2007 than in 2006. South Carolina was second with a 44-fatalitiy increase.
  • Alcohol-related driving fatalities accounted for 31.7% of total traffic deaths.
  • The age groups that accounted for the largest percent of alcohol-related traffic deaths were ages 25-34 and 45-64. Each made up 23% of the deaths in 2007.
  • Underage drinkers accounted for 14% of drunk driving deaths.
  • In 2007, about 67% of alcohol-related driving fatalities were drivers with BACs of .08 or more. Approximately 17% were passengers riding with the drunk drivers.
  • The age group with the highest percentage of drunk drivers involved in fatal car crashes was 25-34. This age group accounted for 26% of the fatal accidents.
  • 83% of the drivers involved in fatal crashes who had BACs of .08 or higher were male.
  • In 2007, 57% of the fatal alcohol-related car crashes occurred on the weekends.
  • The times of day with the highest number of drunk driving fatalities were midnight to 3 a.m. (28%), 9 p.m. to midnight (21%), and then 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (16%).
  • In 2007, drivers between the ages of 16-20 were involved in 1,719 drunk driving accidents.
  • 68% of the drunk driving fatalities in 2007 involved single-vehicle crashes; 32% involved multi-vehicle crashes.

Pennsylvania Alcohol-Related Car Accident Statistics (2007)

  • There were 535 alcohol-related deaths in 2007.
  • 91% of those killed in alcohol-related crashes were in the same vehicle as the drunk driver. 72% of those killed were the drunk driver themselves.
  • 77% of drunk drivers involved in crashes were male.
  • On an average day in 2007, there were 35 alcohol-related crashes with 1.5 fatalities and 27 injured people.
  • The majority of drunk driving crashes occur at night- 75%
  • Alcohol-related crash fatalities were highest between the hours of midnight and 4 am.
  • Alcohol-related crash fatalities were highest on Saturday.
  • 49% of car accident deaths that occured during the holiday weekends were related to alcohol use.

National Drunk Driving Car Crash Statistics (2006)

The following stats represent total state-by-state auto accident fatalities in 2006 and the percentage of deaths in car crashes that involved a driver who had .08% blood-alcohol content or higher.

State Deaths Pct. State Deaths Pct. State Deaths Pct.
Alabama 1,206 32% Kentucky 913 24% North Dakota 111 37%
Alaska 73 27% Louisiana 982 37% Ohio 1,235 31%
Arizona 1,280 32% Maine 188 27% Oklahoma 765 26%
Arkansas 665 30% Maryland 651 30% Oregon 477 31%
California 4,229 30% Massachusetts 422 32% Pennsylvania 1,517 32%
Colorado 533 33% Michigan 1,081 31% Rhode Island 81 36%
Connecticut 301 36% Minnesota 493 31% South Carolina 1,037 40%
Delaware 148 29% Mississippi 911 35% South Dakota 191 36%
D.C. 37 32% Missouri 1,087 35% Tennessee 1,286 32%
Florida 3,363 29% Montana 255 40% Texas 3,466 39%
Georgia 1,688 27% Nebraska 266 26% Utah 284 19%
Hawaii 160 40% Nevada 432 33% Vermont 86 30%
Idaho 267 31% New Hampshire 127 37% Virginia 961 31%
Illinois 1,254 35% New Jersey 771 29% Washington 630 36%
Indiana 896 28% New Mexico 484 28% West Virginia 408 32%
Iowa 439 28% New York 1,454 27% Wisconsin 722 42%
Kansas 466 29% North Carolina 1,558 27% Wyoming 195 35%

Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Car Accident Statistics (2006)

  • In 2006, there were 13,491 alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.
  • There were 545 alcohol-related deaths in 2006.
  • 24% of the driver deaths in the 16-20 age group were drinking drivers.
  • 49% of the driver deaths in the 21-25 age group were drinking drivers.
  • Alcohol-related deaths were 36% of the total traffic deaths.
  • 78% of the drinking drivers involved in accidents were male.
  • 79% of the alcohol-related crashes happened during hours of darkness, usually on weekends.
  • On an average day, 37 alcohol-related crashes occurred.
  • On an average day, 29 people were injured in alcohol-related crashes.
  • On an average day, 1.5 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes.
  • 15% of all holiday crashes involved alcohol use.

National Alcohol-Related Car Accident Statistics (2005)

  • In 2005, 16,885 people in the U.S. died in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents, representing 39% of all traffic-related deaths.
  • Of the 16,885 people who died in alcohol-related crashes in 2005, 14,539 or 86% were killed in crashes where at least one driver or nonoccupant had a BAC of .08 or higher.
  • An estimated 254,000 people were injured in crashes where police reported alcohol was present.
  • Alcohol was present in 24% of drivers involved in fatal crashes.
  • Over half of the 414 child passengers ages 14 and younger that died in an alcohol-related crash were riding with a drunk driver.
  • Of the 1,946 traffic fatalities among children ages 0 to 14 years old, 21% involved alcohol.
  • 48 children ages 14 and under were killed as pedestrians or pedacyclists by an impaired driver.
  • Male drivers are almost twice as likely as female drivers to be involved in a fatal car crash with a BAC of .08 or higher.
  • In 2005, 16% of drivers aged 16 to 20 who were killed in an accident had been drinking alcohol.
  • The highest percentage of drivers in fatal crashes who had BAC levels of .08 or higher was for drivers ages 21 to 24 followed by the 25 to 34 age group.
  • Alcohol involvement in fatal crashes was 3 times higher at night as during the day. For all crashes, the alcohol involvement rate is 5 times higher at night.

Pennsylvania Drunk Driving Crash Statistics (2005)

  • In 2005, there were 580 fatalities from alcohol-related crashes.
  • 89% of those killed in alcohol-related crashes were in the same vehicle as the drunk driver. 72% of those killed were the drunk drivers themselves.
  • 79% of drunk drivers involved in crashes are male.
  • On an average day in 2005, there were 36 alcohol-related crashes with1.6 fatalities and 29 injuredpeople.
  • The majority of drunk driving crashes occur at night - 77%.
  • Alcohol-related car crash deaths were highest between the hours of midnightand 4am.
  • Alcohol-related crash fatalities were highest on Saturday.

General United States Drunk Driving Statistics

  • Alcohol-related car crashes kill someone every 45 minutes and injure someone every two minutes.
  • In the United States, drunk driving is the leading criminal cause of death.
  • More than 17,000 people are the victims of drunk driving accidents every year.
  • Approximately 40% of all motor-vehicle fatalities are alcohol-related.
  • Frequent drunk drivers are responsible for almost 60% of alcohol-related fatalities.
  • 38% of all Christmas-time car accident deaths and 54 % of all New Year's car accident deaths are alcohol-related.
  • Approximately 17% of drunk drivers injured in car accidents are charged and convicted, 11% are charged and not convicted, and 72% are never charged.
  • Drunk driving accidents cost the public around $114.3 billion a year.
  • About one-third of people arrested for drunk driving are repeat offenders.
  • Drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher who are involved in fatal crashes are eight times more likely to have a prior DUI conviction than drivers who consumed no alcohol.
Sources May Include:
"Impaired Driving." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2006.
"2006 Pennsylvania Crash Facts & Statistics." PENNDOT. 2008.
"2007 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment - Alcohol-Impaired Driving Fatalities." August 2008. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2009. Madd.org.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2010.
Free Case Review

First Name

Last Name

City

State

ZIP

Phone

- -

Email

Age

Is an attorney currently handling this case?

Yes No

Briefly describe your injuries


Verdicts & Settlements

$600,000
Motorcycle accident victim
Severe leg damage
$1,400,000
Tractor Trailer Accident
Victim suffered a severe back injury
$1,000,000
Personal injury case
Permanent lung injuries
View More Results

Common Questions

Awards & Memberships
Awards and Memberships
rating-leave