Texas is America’s second-most populous state. And despite having millions fewer residents than population leader California, the state has consistently ranked at the very top for overall traffic fatalities and alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Let’s compare the drunk driving accidents statistics for Texas with those of the U.S. as a whole.
Overall Traffic Fatalities
The federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps annual records of the number of Americans who die in motor vehicle accidents on both a nationwide and state-by-state basis. In 2015, the year with the most recent available NHTSA figures, a total of 35,092 people died in such accidents throughout the U.S. Fully one-tenth of all these deaths — 3,516 — occurred in the State of Texas. However, the number of traffic fatalities in the state actually fell by a very small amount between 2014 and 2015.
Drunk Driving Fatalities
The NHTSA also keeps annual records of the number of Americans who die every year in alcohol-related crashes. The latest drunk driving accidents statistics also cover the year 2015. In that year, a total of 10,265 people died in alcohol-related crashes throughout the U.S. Again, the State of Texas accounted for a sizable number of these deaths: 1,323. However, as with fatal motor vehicle accidents in general, the number of Texans who died in DUI-related crashes actually fell between 2014 and 2015. In fact, Texas experienced the country’s single greatest decline in such deaths during that span of time.
Drunk Driving As a Percentage of Overall Fatalities
Roughly 29% of all of America’s fatal traffic accidents for the year 2015 had alcohol use as an underlying cause. In Texas, alcohol use contributed to a significantly higher 38% of all traffic fatalities. Texas ranks high in the number of fatal traffic accidents and fatal alcohol-related traffic accidents it has, but it isn’t the state with the highest numbers. In fact, two states — Rhode Island (43%) and Connecticut (39%) — have a higher rate of DUI-related motor vehicle deaths. These figures highlight the need for safer roads as well as effective alcohol abuse treatment. Sources National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: State Traffic Safety Information for Year 2015 https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/stsi.htm National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: 2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes Overview https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812318