Two different studies show Utah ranks low across the nation for drunk driving fatalities

Local News

UTAH (ABC4 News) – As people hit the roads for the holidays, the chances of being hit and killed by a drunk driver in Utah are relatively slim, according to two national studies released this week. 

The safety analysts at SafeWise recently released a new report identifying the states with both the highest and lowest rates of impaired driving deaths in the nation. In this study, Utah ranked fourth on the list for the fewest drunk driving deaths with 1.7 fatalities per 100,000 people. 

“Our team used the most recent data on impaired driving from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and population estimates from the US Census to determine our ranking,” said in a statement on the report. 

Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and New Jersey rounded out the top 5 places with the least amount of alcohol related deaths on the road. 

The states with the highest amount of drunk driving deaths were Wyoming, South Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico and Alabama. 

Safewise said given the sometimes “boozy” nature of the holiday season, particularly New Year’s Eve, they feel their report serves as a timely reminder of the importance of getting a safe, sober ride home after any celebration involving alcohol. 

You can read the full safewise report here: https://www.safewise.com/blog/states-by-highest-impaired-driving-rate/

Based on an analysis of Google search trends vs actual DUI fatalities on a state-by-state basis, SafeSmart Living said many U.S. residents are more worried than they maybe need to be given the DUI fatality rates in their area, with a few exceptions.

“One person in the U.S. dies every 50 minutes as a result of drunk driving, and fatality rates increase 12% during the holidays,” said in a statement on the report. “Alcohol-impaired driving crashes account for approximately one-third of all crash fatalities in the United States. In 2016 alone, nearly 10,500 people died from drunk driving in the U.S.”

In this report, Utah was found to be the safest state with the fewest DUI fatalities, with an overall score of 49 (19% of total traffic deaths from DUIs) having 1.7 deaths per 100K people. Their list of fewest DUI fatalities per state included New Jersey, Minnesota, Michigan and New York. 

This report shows Montana as the most dangerous, with 45% of total traffic deaths in the state as a result of drunk driving. 

“The Overall Score was calculated based on a weighted average. Each state’s percentage of alcohol-related driving fatalities was weighted at 50% and its overall ranking in fatalities per capita composed the other 50%,” said the report. 

Nationally, 40% of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers.

You can read the SafeSmart Living report here: https://www.safesmartliving.com/personal-safety/drunk-driving-statistics-by-state/

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