Alcohol-Related Crashes

 

2013 Crash Facts – Click for a complete copy of the Crash Facts

 

Alcohol Overview

▶ In Pennsylvania, drinking and driving remains a top safety issue. In 2013, alcohol-related crashes decreased to 11,041 from 11,956 alcohol-related crashes in 2012. Alcohol-related deaths decreased from 404 to 381 in 2012.

▶ Of particular concern is the involvement of drinking drivers under the age of 21. 19% of the driver deaths in the 16-20 age group were drinking drivers, up from 18% in 2012. Improvement in this age group is a very important need.

▶ Of equal focus is the 21 to 25 age group, in which 44% of the driver deaths were drinking drivers. This age group had the third worst percentage of all groups, and was up from 40% in 2012. The 26 to 30 age group decreased to 34% from 44% in 2012.

▶ In 2013, alcohol-related deaths were 32% of the total traffic deaths, nearly the same as in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

▶ Pennsylvania continues to take an aggressive posture to prevent and deter drinking and driving (particularly through the widespread use of sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols).

 2013 Briefs

▶ 381 people died in alcohol-related crashes.

▶ 91% of the alcohol-related occupant deaths (drivers and passengers) were in the vehicle driven by the drinking driver; 77% were the drinking drivers themselves.

▶ 75% of the drinking drivers in traffic crashes were male.

▶ 74% of the alcohol-related crashes were during the hours of darkness, usually on weekends.

▶ On average each day, 30 alcohol-related traffic crashes occurred.

▶ On average each day, 1.0 persons were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes.

▶ On average each day, 22 persons were injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes.

Alcohol Involvement in Crashes

Although alcohol-related crashes accounted for approximately 9% of the total crashes in 2013, they resulted in 32% of all persons killed in crashes. Alcohol-related crashes were 4.9 times more likely to result in death than those not related to alcohol (3.3% of the alcohol-related crashes resulted in death, compared to 0.7% of crashes which were not alcohol-related). “PDO Crashes” in the table below refers to property damage only crashes.

  Fatal Crashes Deaths Injury Crashes Injuries PDO Crashes
Alcohol-Related    363 (32.5%)    381 (31.5%) 5,864 (9.8%) 7,900 (9.5%) 4,814 (7.6%)
Non-Alcohol Related    754 (67.5%)    827 (68.5%) 54,053 (90.2%) 75,193 (90.5%) 58,293 (92.4%)
Total 1,117(100.0%) 1,208 (100.0%) 59,917 (100.0%) 83,093 (100.0%) 63,107 (100.0%)

 

Alcohol-Related Crashes—Five-Year Trends

Alcohol-related crashes decreased in 2013, and were the lowest total in the last five years. Alcohol-related fatalities decreased in 2013, and were the lowest total in the last five years. Alcohol-related fatalities are trending in a good direction.

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Crashes 12,712 12,426 11,805 11,956 11,041
  Fatal Crashes 397 408 393 375 363
  Injury Crashes 6,887 6,773 6,241 6,425 5,864
   PDO Crashes 5,428 5,245 5,171 5,156 4,814
Deaths 449 459 428 404 381
Injuries 9,536 9,321 8,471 8,724 7,900
Fatal Crashes per 100,000 Licensed Drivers 4.6 4.7 4.5 4.2 4.1
Deaths per 100,000 Licensed Drivers 5.2 5.2 4.9 4.6 4.3

Victims of Alcohol-Related Fatal Crashes

There were 328 driver and passenger deaths in alcohol-related crashes in 2013, while 297 (91%) were the drinking drivers or their passengers.

Persons Involved Deaths
Drivers 278
  Drinking Drivers 252 (90.7%)
  Non-Drinking Drivers 26 (9.4%)
Passengers 50
  Passengers with Drinking Driver 45 (90.0%)
  Passengers with Non-Drinking Driver    5 (10.0%)
Pedestrians 49
  Drinking Pedestrian 32 (65.3%)
  Non-Drinking Pedestrian 17 (34.7%)
TOTAL DEATHS 381

Victims of Fatal Crashes by Time of Day

Alcohol-related crashes occurring between 8:00 PM and 4:00 AM produced the vast majority of deaths (64% of alcohol-related deaths). In contrast, under half of the deaths (47%) from non-alcohol-related crashes resulted from crashes occurring between noon and 8:00 PM.

Time of Occurrence Non-Alcohol Related Alcohol Related
Midnight-3:59 AM 59 130
4:00-7:59 AM 97 28
8:00-11:59 AM 165 14
Noon-3:59 PM 184 29
4:00-7:59 PM 201 64
8:00-11:59 PM 120 115
Time Unknown    1    1
TOTAL DEATHS 827 381

 

Victims of Fatal Crashes by Day of Week

Just under half (46%) of alcohol-related fatal crash victims were the result of crashes occurring on Saturday and Sunday, while fatal crash victims of non-alcohol-related crashes tended to be distributed more evenly throughout the work week with the fewest occurring on Thursday.

Day of Occurrence Non-Alcohol-Related Alcohol-Related
Monday 120 31
Tuesday 135 43
Wednesday 115 31
Thursday 96 38
Friday 121 63
Saturday 119 91
Sunday 121 84
TOTAL DEATHS 827 381

 

Alcohol-Related Crashes—Day vs. Night

74% of alcohol-related crashes occurred at night.

 

Alcohol-Related Holiday Crashes

In 2013, 12% of all holiday crashes involved alcohol use; however, 32% of deaths which occurred during holiday weekends were related to alcohol use.

Period Crashes Deaths
New Years 74 2
Post New Years 27 0
Pre-Memorial Day 130 7
Memorial Day 152 7
Post Memorial Day 127 4
Pre-Independence Day 29 1
Independence Day 52 3
Post-Independence Day 29 0
Pre-Labor Day 129 6
Labor Day 146 2
Post-Labor Day 128 4
Pre-Thanksgiving 172 3
Thanksgiving 194 5
Post-Thanksgiving 180 4
Pre-Christmas 34 1
Christmas 39 4
TOTAL 1,642 53

 

 

Driver Involvement in Alcohol-Related Crashes by Vehicle Type

Motorcyclists had the largest percentage of drinking drivers to total drivers compared to the drivers of other types of vehicles. Drinking drivers of passenger cars, light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles were also above the average for drivers of all vehicle types. Bus and heavy truck drivers accounted for very few of the drinking drivers in crashes.

Total Drivers in Crashes 200,049

Passenger Cars 115,741
Lt Trk/SUV/Van 72,201
Heavy Truck 6,469
Motorcycle 3,500
Bus 923
Other 1,215

Drinking Drivers in Crashes 10,806 (5.4% of total)

Passenger Cars 6,325 5.5% of total
Lt Trk/SUV/Van 4,038 5.6% of total
Heavy Truck 36 0.6% of total
Motorcycle 338 9.7% of total
Bus 2 0.2% of total
Other 67 5.5% of total

 

 

Drinking Drivers in Crashes by Age and Sex

In 2013, roughly 3 out of 4 drinking drivers in crashes were male (across most age groups), with only slight variations among the age groups. The table below does not include an additional 67 drivers for whom age and/or sex were not known.

Age Group Male Female Total
Under 16 6 2 8
16-20 600 173 773
21-25 1,973 659 2,632
26-30 1,203 424 1,627
31-35 874 314 1,188
36-40 397 236 933
41-45 694 292 986
46-50 663 254 917
51-55 585 173 758
56-60 356 87 443
61-65 204 43 247
66-70 105 24 129
71-75 49 9 58
Over 75 32 8 40
Total 8,041 2,698 10,739

 

 

Drinking Drivers vs. Non-Drinking Drivers Involved in Crashes by

Age Group

In 2013, as the table below shows, the two age groups from 21 to 30 had the highest percentage of drinking drivers within their respective age groups. After age 40, the percentage of drinking drivers within the succeeding age groups steadily declined. The Under 16 age group continues to be of particular concern, as it included 8 drinking drivers.

Age Group Drinking Driver Non-Drinking Driver
Under 16 8 4.8% 158 95.2%
16-20 774 3.2% 23,439 96.8%
21-25 2,634 8.9% 27,026 91.1%
26-30 1,631 7.4% 20,474 92.6%
31-35 1,191 6.8% 16,403 93.2%
36-40 936 6.3% 13,935 93.7%
41-45 987 6.2% 15,038 93.8%
46-50 919 5.8% 14,910 94.2%
51-55 759 5.0% 14,504 95.0%
56-60 443 3.4% 12,426 96.6%
Over 60 474 1.7% 27,355 98.3%

 

 

Drinking Driver Deaths as a Percentage of Total Driver Deaths, by

Age Group

 

The table below shows drinking driver deaths as a percentage of total driver deaths within each respective age group for 2013 crashes. The age group from 36 to 40 had the highest percentage, with 51% of the driver deaths in this age group being a drinking driver. The 16-20 age group increased from 17.5% in 2012. In 2013, there were no drivers under the age of 16 who chose to combine alcohol usage and driving without a license.

Age Group Percentage of Total Driver Deaths
Under 16 0.0%
16-20 18.6%
21-25 44.4%
26-30 34.2%
31-35 40.0%
36-40 50.9%
41-45 33.3%
46-50 47.7%
51-55 33.3%
56-60 33.3%
61-65 14.6%
66-70 12.2%
71-75 3.9%
Over 75 2.3%

 

 

Underage Drinking Drivers in Pennsylvania Crashes—Historical Data

Act 31, commonly known as the “Underage Drinking Law,” went into effect on May 24, 1988. From that year, and until 1994, the number of underage drinking drivers involved in Pennsylvania crashes declined each year. From 1997 until 2002, the amount of underage drinking drivers remained consistently high. From that point until 2013 there has been a downward trend with 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2012 disrupting the steady decrease.

Year Underage Drinking Drivers in PA Crashes
2004 1,369
2005 1,410
2006 1,535
2007 1,305
2008 1,239
2009 1,294
2010 1,265
2011 943
2012 954
2013 782