Drunken Driving Fatalities Drop While Number of Vehicles, Miles Traveled and Number of Drivers all Increase Greatly

The number of drunken-driving fatalities in the U.S. dropped over one-third (36%) between 1982 and 2006. This large drop occurred in spite of dramatic increases during the same period in the number of vehicle miles traveled, registered motor vehicles on the road, licensed drivers, and population of the country. The number of vehicle miles traveled increased 89 percent, the number of registered motor vehicles increased 62 percent, the number of licensed drivers increased 35 percent, and the total U.S. population increased 29 percent since 1982.

These statistics reflect great success in reducing drunken driving and the tragedies it causes. However, some people continue to drive while intoxicated, leading to needless deaths so we must continue our efforts to reduce intoxicated driving.


  • U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis, U.S. Census Bureau.

Filed Under: Drinking and Driving