Drunk driving deaths decline in 2013
Data released today by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) once again shows a decrease in the number of motor vehicle and drunk driving deaths. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. After an increase in 2012, drunk driving deaths fell 2.5% from 10,336 in 2012 according to the latest statistics. These alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 31 percent of the total traffic fatalities in the US.
Since Responsibility.org's inception, alcohol impaired driving fatalities have declined 36 percent since 1991 and 52 percent since record keeping began in 1982. Despite this progress there is still more work to be done.
In 2013, among all drunk driving deaths, 68% were fatal crashes involving at least one driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.15 or higher – a trend that has remained relatively unchanged for more than a decade. These high BAC drivers are responsible for a disproportionate share of the drunk driving deaths on our roads.
Additional highlights from the NHTSA report include :
· The number of passenger traffic deaths declined three percent to a record low 21,132, the lowest recorded level since 1975.
· The rate of drunk driving fatal crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (.34) declined 23 percent over the past decade and almost three percent from 2012 to 2013.
· Drivers with a BAC of .15 or higher involved in a fatal crash were seven times more likely than a non-drinking driver to have a prior DUI conviction in the past three years.
· The most frequently recorded BAC level in drunk driving fatal crashes was .17.
· Thirty-four states reported a decrease in overall traffic deaths last year.
Leading the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking – two of society’s top safety concerns – Responsibility.org offers proven strategies to stop impaired driving We support mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted DUI offenders, rehabilitation through screening, assessment and effective treatment, the utilization of DUI Courts for repeat DUI offenders and other effective countermeasures. We believe these tactics have played a significant role in achieving these noted reductions. We are encouraged by the progress reported by NHTSA today but there is still more work to be done to keep our roads free from drunk drivers.