According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 28 people die every day in an accident caused by a drunk driver. To put that into perspective, drinking and driving kills one person every 52 minutes. Despite the known dangers, all too many drivers continue to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Like all data, these fatalities aren’t spread out evenly over the United States. So, which states have the highest drunk driving death rates? Check out these interesting statistics that shed light on this continuing tragedy.
Understanding the Data
There are a few ways to measure which states see the most alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. The first is to look at the number of these accidents per year. California, for instance, saw 1,120 deaths in 2017. That number was followed by 839 in Florida and 413 in North Carolina.
The second is to look at the number of drunk driving deaths compared to driving fatalities that did not include alcohol. For 2017, that would make Connecticut the most dangerous state with 84% of all vehicular fatalities being alcohol related.
Finally, fatalities can be measured per 100,000 people. Wyoming would top the list in 2017 using this metric with 7.60 drunk driving deaths for every 100,000 people that live in the state. While all three ways of measuring the data lead to different results, combining them creates a clearer picture of where these accidents happen the most.
The Most Dangerous States by the Number of Accidents
California, Florida, and North Carolina have the highest number of drunk driving deaths each year with 1,120, 839, and 413 respectively. Georgia follows behind with 366. Next is Illinois with 349, Ohio with 333, and South Carolina with 313. The safest location happens to be the District of Columbia with a mere 16.
The Most Dangerous States by Comparison
When comparing drunk driving deaths to fatalities where alcohol was not a factor, Connecticut sits at the top of dangerous states with a rate of 84% of all deaths featuring inebriation. North Dakota follows that with a rate of 75%, trailed by Hawaii at 72%. Massachusetts and Wyoming tie for 56%, the next highest number of drunk driving deaths compared to non-alcohol related fatalities.
The Most Dangerous States per 100,000 Residents
Wyoming comes in as most dangerous with 7.60 fatalities per 100,000 people, followed by South Carolina with 6.23 and North Dakota with 6.09. New Mexico sits at 5.75, while Alabama holds 5.50. In this and the previous measurement, Texas remains the safest.
So, which state is the most dangerous of all? The truth is, the deadliest aspect is anyone getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. Despite the data, fatal accidents can happen anywhere at anytime as long as people continue to act carelessly.
Killing someone while inebriated, no matter how unintentional the accident was, can lead to life-altering criminal charges. Just ask this felony dui lawyer in Boulder, Colorado, a state that wasn’t even mentioned among the worst of the worst. While some states see more of these tragedies than others, the best thing you can do to stay safe is drive responsibly and encourage others to as well.