Drunk Driving Deaths Are On The Rise in the US

Drunk Driving Deaths Are On The Rise in the US


According to a recent report published in the WSJ, around 13,500 people in the US died in alcohol related crashes in 2022 – a 33% increase over totals from 2019. And while drunk driving fatalities are now at a two-decade high, DUI arrests continue to fall due in large part to understaffed law enforcement agencies.

Drunk Driving Deaths 2024 on the rise

Drunk driving has been a significant contributor to traffic fatalities in the US, recently increasing to around 32% of all traffic-related deaths – for an average of one drunk driving death every 39 minutes. The highest percentage of drunk drivers are males between the ages of 21-24. States with the highest alcohol-related fatality rates are Texas (1,677), California (1,241), and Florida (958). Adjusted for percentage of population, the highest fatality rate per capita states are Montana, Texas, Alaska, and Connecticut.

Drunk driving fatalities are most common based on the following 6 accident types:

Single-Vehicle Crashes: These are car accidents where the intoxicated driver crashes their vehicle without involving another vehicle. Often, these crashes result in fatalities due to high speeds or loss of control. In 2019, 63% of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities involved a single vehicle.

Head-On Collisions: Intoxicated drivers can veer into oncoming traffic lanes, resulting in head-on collisions. These collisions tend to be the most severe and can lead to fatalities for both drivers and passengers involved. Data shows that over 50% of all head-on collisions involve alcohol and are 4-5X more likely to lead to fatalities compared to other types of accidents. Around 12% of drunk driving fatalities involve head-on collisions.

Rear-End Collisions: Drunk drivers can fail to maintain a safe following distance, leading to rear-end collisions with other vehicles. Depending on the speed and circumstances, these collisions can result in fatalities or severe injuries. In 2019, 7% of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities were rear-end collisions.

Intersection Collisions: Drunk drivers can run red lights or stop signs at intersections, leading to collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians. Intersection collisions can be particularly dangerous due to the potential for multiple impacts and the involvement of pedestrians or cyclists.

Pedestrian or Cyclist Accidents: Drunk drivers may fail to notice pedestrians or cyclists on the road, leading to collisions that can result in severe injuries or fatalities for vulnerable road users. In 2019, 27% of pedestrian fatalities and 18% of cyclist fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.

Best Attorney Referral Service


These types of serious accidents highlight the dangers of drunk driving and emphasize the importance of responsible alcohol consumption and using ride-share and designated drivers. If you or somebody you know were injured or killed in an accident involving a drunk driver, call 1-800-LAW-LEADERS to speak to a top rated DUI lawyer in your area for free now.

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