2021 Drunk Driving Statistics

The combination of alcohol and driving remains one of the United State’s top killers. Roughly one person dies from an alcohol-related accident every 52 minutes, adding up to over 10,000 fatalities per year. The statistics are staggering, but is there any hope to bring these numbers down in 2021?

Looking at Key Statistics

Outside of the numbers mentioned above, there are other highly concerning statistics related to alcohol impairment and driving. Understanding the full impact drunk driving has helps experts identify ways to reach the public about this ongoing tragedy. Here are some of the most important stats to look at:

  • Roughly 230 children under the age of 14 are killed in alcohol-fueled accidents each year
  • Those 10,000 annual deaths make up 30% of all traffic fatalities in the United States
  • The cost of drunk driving, from death to damages and cleanup, cost $44 billion per year

Looking at Annual Trends

Another key factor to consider is whether the number of deaths per year caused by drunk driving are increasing or declining. While 2021 isn’t over, it’s important to know which way this trend is headed. The good news is that efforts to stop drivers from getting behind the wheel inebriated are working.

  • 2016 – 10,967 fatalities
  • 2017 – 10,908
  • 2018 – 10,511
  • 2019 – 10,142

Heading into 2021

In working to thwart this ongoing tragedy, experts look to the data in order to better understand who is most likely to cause an alcohol-related accident. The three key factors here are age, gender, and location.

As you might imagine, those too young to drink and those who are elderly are the least likely to be involved in a fatal crash caused by alcohol. The most likely age groups are 21 to 24 and 25 to 34. From there, the numbers begin to drop off. Here are the stats:

  • 16-20 – 15%
  • 21-24 – 27%
  • 25-34 – 25%
  • 35-44 – 21%
  • 45-54 – 19%
  • 55-64 – 15%
  • 65-74 – 10%
  • 75+ – 7% 

Age is also a major factor. Men are four times as likely to be involved in a drunk driving accident than women, accounting for 80.4% of fatalities. Despite the average male needing more drinks to reach a 0.08 blood-alcohol level, they’re more likely to need a repeat DUI attorney and far more likely to cause an accident.

Location also plays a vital role, with several states seeing higher percentages of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities than others. California and Florida have the most overall fatalities, but some states with minimal auto-related deaths hold surprisingly high percentages for those caused by alcohol.

Drunk Driving and the Pandemic

While experts and authorities can focus on the factors above, the curveball affecting 2021 is the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Thought to be caused by the stress of the pandemic, all too many drivers are getting behind the wheel drunk or impaired by drugs.

Fatalities caused by drunk driving increased by five percent heading into September of 2020 despite people driving less in general. The fatality rate altogether also increased from 1.10 to 1.35 in a single year. This shows an upward trend in impaired driving that will need to be addressed quickly.

As more statistics behind this uptick come out in 2021, agencies and experts will have to decide what measures or steps to take to regain control over the situation and reverse the trend. Stay tuned for more to come about drunk driving statistic in 2021.