In 2018, 10,511 people lost their lives in collisions involving drunk driving as compared with 10,908 in 2017, representing a 3.6% decrease according to FARS 2018 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
While progress has been made in the last two years — there were nearly 11,000 alcohol-impaired fatalities in 2016 — drunk driving still accounted for 29% of overall fatalities in 2018.
The NHTSA data also included a breakdown of fatalities by state. Texas had the most alcohol-impaired driving fatalities — 1,439 — in 2018. That translates into 40% of the state’s overall roadway fatalities.
California ranked second with 1,069 drunk driving deaths in 2018 as compared with 1,147 in 2017. Florida ranked third with 814 fatalities in 2018 — a slight dip from 841 drunk driving deaths in 2017.
Safety advocates including Mothers Against Drunk Driving say there is still much more work to be done to eradicate alcohol-impaired driving.
MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving supports the development of advanced drunk driving prevention technology, high-visibility law enforcement, such as sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, state laws requiring ignition interlocks for all drunk driving offenders, and public support for these initiatives.
Drunk driving deaths have decreased by 22% since the Campaign launched in 2006, according to MADD.
Every day, 29 people are killed in drunk driving crashes. That translates to one person every 50 minutes. Another 835 are injured each day, or once every two minutes.