Crash Facts

Pennsylvania DUI Association

Alcohol-Related Crashes

2014 Crash Facts – Click for a complete copy of the Crash Facts

Alcohol Overview

▶ In Pennsylvania, drinking and driving remains a top safety issue. In 2014, alcohol-related crashes decreased to 10,550 from 11,041 alcohol-related crashes in 2013. In 2014, alcohol-related deaths decreased from 333 from 381 in 2013.

▶ Of particular concern is the involvement of drinking drivers under the age of 21. 13% of the driver deaths in the 16-20 age group were drinking drivers, down from 19% in 2013. Improvement in this age group is a very important need.

▶ Of equal focus is the 21 to 25 age group, in which 43% of the driver deaths were drinking drivers. This age group had the worst percentage of all groups, and was down from 44% in 2013. The 26 to 30 age group decreased to 31% from 34% in 2013.

▶ In 2014, alcohol-related deaths were 28% of the total traffic deaths, less than 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).

2014 Briefs

▶ 333 people died in alcohol-related crashes.

▶ 87% of the alcohol-related occupant deaths (drivers and passengers) were in the vehicle driven by the drinking driver; 72% were the drinking drivers themselves.

▶ 74% of the drinking drivers in traffic crashes were male.

▶ 72% of the alcohol-related crashes were during the hours of darkness, usually on weekends.

▶ On average each day, 29 alcohol-related traffic crashes occurred.

▶ On average each day, 0.9 persons were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes.

▶ On average each day, 20 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 2014, they resulted in 28% of all persons killed in crashes. Alcohol-related crashes were 4.1 times more likely to result in death than those not related to alcohol (2.9% 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    311 (28.1%)    333 (27.9%) 5,377 (9.3%) 7,265 (9.1%) 4,862 (7.8%)
Non-Alcohol Related    796 (71.9%)    862 (72.1%) 52,275 (90.7%) 72,493 (90.9%) 57,686 (92.2%)
Total 1,107(100.0%) 1,195 (100.0%) 57,652 (100.0%) 79,758 (100.0%) 62,548 (100.0%)

Alcohol-Related Crashes—Five-Year Trends

Alcohol-related crashes decreased in 2014, and were the lowest total in the last five years. Alcohol-related fatalities decreased in 2014, and were the lowest total in the last five years. Alcohol-related fatalities are trending downward.

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Crashes 12,426 11,805 11,956 11,041 10,550
  Fatal Crashes 408 393 375 363 311
  Injury Crashes 6,773 6,241 6,425 5,864 5,377
   PDO Crashes 5,245 5,171 5,156 4,814 4,862
Deaths 459 428 404 381 333
Injuries 9,321 8,471 8,724 7,900 7,265
Fatal Crashes per 100,000 Licensed Drivers 4.7 4.5 4.2 4.1 3.5
Deaths per 100,000 Licensed Drivers 5.2 4.9 4.6 4.3 3.7

Victims of Alcohol-Related Fatal Crashes

There were 282 driver and passenger deaths in alcohol-related crashes in 2014, while 244 (87%) were the drinking drivers or their passengers.

Persons Involved Deaths
Drivers 235
  Drinking Drivers 203 (86.4%)
  Non-Drinking Drivers  32 (13.6%)
Passengers 47
  Passengers with Drinking Driver 41 (87.2%)
 Passengers with Non-Drinking Driver    6 (12.8%)
Pedestrians 42
  Drinking Pedestrian 31 (73.8%)
  Non-Drinking Pedestrian 11 (26.2%)
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 (62% of alcohol-related deaths). In contrast, under half of the deaths (48%) 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 54 96
4:00-7:59 AM 113 24
8:00-11:59 AM 167 7
Noon-3:59 PM 221 34
4:00-7:59 PM 191 61
8:00-11:59 PM 115 110
Time Unknown    1    1
TOTAL DEATHS 862 333

Victims of Fatal Crashes by Day of Week

Just under half (49%) 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 and Saturday

Day of Occurrence Non-Alcohol-Related Alcohol-Related
Monday 144 29
Tuesday 117 24
Wednesday 113 36
Thursday 109 28
Friday 140 52
Saturday 109 87
Sunday 130 77
TOTAL DEATHS 862 333

Alcohol-Related Crashes—Day vs. Night

74% of alcohol-related crashes occurred at night.

Alcohol-Related Holiday Crashes

In 2014, 13% of all holiday crashes involved alcohol use; however, 41% of deaths which occurred during holiday weekends were related to alcohol use.

Period Crashes Deaths
New Years 64 0
Post New Years 21 0
Pre-Memorial Day 129 7
Memorial Day 123 7
Post Memorial Day 111 7
Pre-Independence Day 138 3
Independence Day 153 7
Post-Independence Day 130 5
Pre-Labor Day 137 6
Labor Day 138 15
Post-Labor Day 114 2
Pre-Thanksgiving 154 3
Thanksgiving 150 5
Post-Thanksgiving 176 4
Pre-Christmas 38 1
Christmas 49 1
TOTAL 1,825 73

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 equal to or just 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 196,850

Passenger Cars 110,430
Lt Trk/SUV/Van 73,852
Heavy Truck 7,059
Motorcycle 3,360
Bus 865
Other 1,284

Drinking Drivers in Crashes 10,336 (5.3% of total)

Passenger Cars 6,001 5.4% of total
Lt Trk/SUV/Van 3,933 5.3% of total
Heavy Truck 39 0.6% of total
Motorcycle 293 8.7% of total
Bus 2 0.2% of total
Other 68 5.3% of total

 

Drinking Drivers in Crashes by Age and Sex

In 2014, 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 78 drivers for whom age and/or sex were not known.

Age Group Male Female Total
Under 16 4 0 4
16-20 511 156 667
21-25 1,754 632 2,386
26-30 1,204 408 1,612
31-35 875 347 1,222
36-40 649 239 888
41-45 627 251 878
46-50 580 237 817
51-55 564 183 747
56-60 402 101 503
61-65 232 65 297
66-70 120 22 142
71-75 45 13 58
Over 75 25 12 37
Total 7,592 2,666 10,258

 

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

In 2014, 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 4 3.0% 130 97.0%
16-20 668 3.0% 21,915 97.0%
21-25 2,386 8.3% 26,371 91.7%
26-30 1,612 7.3% 20,365 92.7%
31-35 1,226 6.8% 16,719 93.2%
36-40 888 6.1% 13,746 93.9%
41-45 880 5.7% 14,570 94.3%
46-50 817 5.3% 14,593 94.7%
51-55 748 5.0% 14,328 95.0%
56-60 505 3.9% 12,486 96.1%
Over 60 534 1.9% 27,535 98.1%

 

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 2014 crashes. The age group from 21 to 25 had the highest percentage, with 43% of the driver deaths in this age group being a drinking driver. The 16-20 age group increased from 18.6% in 2013. In 2014, 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 13.2%
21-25 42.9%
26-30 30.7%
31-35 28.0%
36-40 32.3%
41-45 34.7%
46-50 32.8%
51-55 33.8%
56-60 24.6%
61-65 19.2%
66-70 8.7%
71-75 5.6%
Over 75 0.0%

 

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 2014 there has been a downward trend with 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2012 disrupting the steady decrease.

Year Underage Drinking Drivers in PA Crashes
2005 1,410
2006 1,535
2007 1,305
2008 1,239
2009 1,294
2010 1,265
2011 943
2012 954
2013 782
2014 672