Crash Facts

2012 Crash Facts - Click for a complete copy of the Crash Facts

Alcohol-Related Crashes

Alcohol Overview

  • In Pennsylvania, drinking and driving remains a top safety issue. In 2012, alcohol-related crashes increased to 11,956 from 11,805 alcohol-related crashes in 2011. Alcohol-related deaths decreased from 428 to 404 in 2012.
  • Of particular concern is the involvement of drinking drivers under the age of 21. Eighteen(18%) percent of the driver deaths in the 16-20 age group were drinking drivers, down from 26% in 2011. Improvement in this age group is a very important need.
  • Of equal focus is the 21 to 25 age group, in which 40% of the driver deaths were drinking drivers. This age group had the fifth worst percentage of all groups, and was down from the 45% in 2011. The 26 to 30 age group decreased to 44% from 47% in 2011.
  • In 2012, alcohol-related deaths were 31% of the total traffic deaths, nearly the same as in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
  • 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).
2012 Briefs
  • 404 people died in alcohol-related crashes.
  • 90% of the alcohol-related occupant deaths (drivers and passengers) were in the vehicle driven by the drinking driver; 74% 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, 33 alcohol-related traffic crashes occurred.
  • On average each day, 1.1 persons were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes.
  • On average each day, 24 persons were injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes.
Alcohol Involvement in Crashes
Although alcohol-related crashes accounted for approximately 10% of the total crashes in 2012, they resulted in 31% of all persons killed in crashes. Alcohol-related crashes were almost 4.2 times more likely to result in death than those not related to alcohol (3.1% of the alcohol-related crashes resulted in death, compared to 0.8% 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
357
(31.0%)
404
(34.7%)
6,425
(10.3%)
9,321
(10.6%)
5,156
(8.5%)
Non-Alcohol-Related
836
(69.0%)
906
(69.2%)
55,707
(89.7%)
78,625
(89.4%)
55,584
(91.5%)
TOTAL
1,211
(100.0%)
1,310
(100.0%)
62,132
(100.0%)
87,946
(100.0%)
60,740
(100.0%)
Alcohol Related Crashes
Five-Year Trends
Alcohol-related crashes increased in 2010, and were the second lowest total in the last five years. Alcohol-related fatalities increased in 2012, and were the second lowest total in the last five years. “PDO Crashes” in the table below refers to property damage only crashes.
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Crashes 12,752 12,712 12,426 11,805 11,956
Fatal Crashes 498 397 408 393 375
Injury Crashes 6,911 6,887 6,773 6,241 6,425
PDO Crashes 5,343 5,428 5,245 5,171 5,156
Deaths 534 449 459 428 404
Injuries 9,565 9,536 9,321 8,471 8,724
Fatal Crashes per 100,000
Licensed Drivers
5.8 4.6 4.7 4.5 4.2
Deaths per 100,000 Licensed Drivers 6.2 5.2 5.2 4.9 4.6


Victims of Alcohol Related Crashes

There were 364 driver and passenger deaths in alcohol-related crashes in 2012, while 329 (90%) were the drinking drivers or their passengers.
Persons Involved Deaths
Drivers 296
Drinking Drivers 271 (91.6%)
Non-Drinking Drivers 25 (8.5%)
Passengers 68
Passengers with Drinking Driver 58 (85.3%)
Passengers with Non-Drinking Drivers 10 (14.7%)
Pedestrians 37
Drinking Pedestrians 27 (73.0%)
Non-Drinking Pedestrians 10 (27.0%)
TOTAL DEATHS* 404
*Includes 5 victims, status unknown
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 (656% of alcohol-related deaths). In contrast, over half of the deaths 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
4:00 – 7:59 AM
80
118
150
30
8:00 – 11:59 AM
Noon – 3:59 PM
151
238
10
27
4:00 – 7:59 PM
8:00 – 11:59 PM
197
118
73
1114
Time Unknown 4 0
TOTAL DEATHS 906 404
Victims of Fatal Crashes by Day of the Week

Just over half (48%) 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 through the work week with the fewest occurring on Tuesday.
Day of Occurrence
Non-
Alcohol-
Related
Alcohol-
Related
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
118
128
144
137
30
36
37
37
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
134
126
119
52
111
101
TOTAL DEATHS 906
404

Alcohol Related Holiday Crashes
In 2012, 13% of all holiday crashes involved alcohol use; however, 42% of deaths which occurred during holiday weekends were related to alcohol use.
Period Crashes Deaths
New Years* 105 3
Post-New Years* 126 6
Pre-Memorial Day 134 7
Memorial Day 143  7
Post-Memorial Day 135 5
Pre-Independence Day  26  0
Independence Day  55 2
Post-Independence Day  29 3
Pre-Labor Day 121 4
Labor Day 124 8
Post-Labor Day 139  6
Pre-Thanksgiving 185  8
Thanksgiving 202 7
Post-Thanksgiving 184 4
Pre-Christmas*  29 0
Christmas*  40 1
TOTAL 1,777  71
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.
Total Drivers in Crashes Passenger Car 117,352
195,238 Light Trucks 70,328
Heavy Trucks 6,148
Motorcycle 4,081
Bus 968
Other 1,324
Drinking Drivers in Crashes Passenger Car 6,889 (5.9% of total)
12,680
(6.3% of total)
Light Truck 4,309 (6.1% of total)
Heavy Truck 38 (0.6% of total)
Motorcycle 403 ( 9.9% of total)
Bus 0 (0.0% of total)
Other
84 (6.3% of total)
Drinking Drivers In Crashes by Age and Sex
In 2012, roughly three out of four 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 61 drivers for whom age and/or sex were not known.
Age Group Male Female Total
Under 16 8 3 11
16 – 20 735 207 942
21 – 25 2,170 772 2,942
26 – 30 1,327 446 1,773
31 – 35 998 300 1,298
36 – 40 758 245 1,003
41 – 45 759 282 1,041
46 – 50 711 271 982
51 – 55 581 171 752
56 – 60 349 95 444
61 – 65 215 46 261
66 – 70 83 19 102
71 – 75 50 12 62
Over 75 38 11 49
Total 8,782 2,880 11,662
Drinking Drivers Vs. Non-Drinking Drivers Involved in Accidents
In 2012, 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 11 drinking drivers.
Age Group Drinking Driver Non-Drinking Driver
Under 16 11 (5.9%) 177 (94.2%)
16 – 20 943 (3.7%) 24,852 (96.3%)
21 – 25 2,942 (9.9%) 26,725 (90.1%)
26 – 30 1,776 (8.2%) 19,815 (91.8%)
31 – 35 1,300 (7.6%) 15,737 (92.4%)
36 – 40 1,004 (6.7%) 13,986 (93.3%)
41 – 45 1,042 (6.5%) 15,079 (93.5%)
46 – 50 982 (6.0%) 15,263 (94.0%)
51 – 55 752 (5.0%) 14,368 (95.0%)
56 – 60 445 (3.5%) 12,122 (96.5%)
Over 60 475 (1.8%)
26,740 (98.3%)

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