Motor vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania and around the country claimed almost 40,000 lives in 2020 according to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and almost a third of these accidents were caused by motorists who got behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. The report reveals that drunk drivers killed 11,654 road users in 2020, and 38% of those fatalities were passengers traveling with intoxicated drivers, occupants of other motor vehicles, cyclists, motorcyclists or pedestrians.
Young men most likely to drive drunk
The NHTSA data suggests that young men are far more likely to be involved in a fatal drunk driving accident than other demographic groups. More than half of the deadly accidents caused by impaired motorists in 2020 were caused by drivers between the ages of 21 and 34, and three-quarters of them were males. Binge drinking was likely a contributing factor in many of these crashes because more than half of the drunk drivers involved in deadly accidents in 2020 had blood alcohol concentrations that were more than double the 0.08% legal driving limit.
Pennsylvania drunk driving statistics
Drunk driving rates are falling in many parts of the country, but that does not appear to be the case in Pennsylvania. There were 9,220 alcohol-related accidents in the Keystone State in 2021 that claimed 311 lives. In 2020, there were 7,700 DUI accidents and 293 drunk driving fatalities. Young drivers are also most at risk in Pennsylvania. Almost half of the Pennsylvania drivers between the ages of 26 and 30 who died in traffic accidents in 2021 were impaired by alcohol when they crashed.
The figures suggest that the authorities focusing too much on harsh DUI laws and not doing enough to warn young people about the dangers of drinking and driving. Inexperience behind the wheel and alcohol consumption is a deadly combination, and the data indicates that powerful public awareness campaigns could save more lives than law enforcement crackdowns and harsh drunk driving penalties.