Numbers show Texans seem to be making smarter choices on the road;
Reason for study is to make alcohol-related data accessible to Alamo City residents
Contributor: Hill Law Firm
Which states have the highest drunk driving fatality rates in America? A study by San Antonio-based Hill Law Firm found that in 2018, Montana had the highest drunk driving fatality rate by far, with 11.04 drunk driving deaths per 100,000 licensed drivers. Neighboring state Wyoming ranked second with 8.31 drunk driving deaths, and South Carolina ranked third with 7.79 deaths per 100,000 licensed drivers, according to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Hill Law Firm worked with a California data research group to analyze the massive 2018 data from NHTSA. “We learned a long time ago that data only matters if you can interpret it,” attorney Justin Hill said. “We have chosen to produce these types of studies once a year to make data more accessible to people in San Antonio.”
The study, “U.S. Drunk Driving Fatality Rates by State,” also found that while most of the states which routinely rank high for total alcohol-involved driving fatalities – California, Florida, and Texas – ranked either low or middle-of-the-pack in fatality rate.
For instance, California reported 3.51 drunk driving fatalities per 100,000 licensed drivers, despite having 920 drunk driving fatalities in 2018 – the highest in the nation. Florida had a higher drunk driving rate than California, despite having nearly a third fewer fatalities, with a rate of 4.44 deaths per licensed drivers.
Texas is the exception in this case: it is one of the few states in the nation with a drunk driving fatality rate (5.73) just as high as its total fatalities (910). For comparison, California had 10 more total fatalities than Texas in 2018, yet Texas’ drunk driving fatality rate per 100,000 licensed drivers was significantly higher.
Moreover, 2018 saw a sharp decline in fatalities across the board – especially in states where high fatality numbers are usually expected. This includes Texas, which went from 1,468 total drunk driving fatalities in 2017 to 910 the following year – a 38% decrease in alcohol-involved driving deaths.
“Of special note for those of us who live in South Texas, the overall trend in our state seems to be heading in the right direction,” Hill said. “After years of increasing or consistent numbers on drunk driving deaths, those numbers now seem to indicate that Texans are making smarter choices.”
For more information, visit www.jahlawfirm.com or call (210) 960-3939