LANSING, Mich. — Butler Wooten & Peak LLP has released an interactive map that details drunk driving fatality rates of every state in 2018. Working in conjunction with data visualization firm 1Point21 Interactive, the personal injury law firm analyzed car accident data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to find the rate of alcohol-involved crash fatalities per capita of each state.
Overall, Montana had the highest rate overall in 2018, recording 8.28 alcohol-involved crash fatalities per 100,000 population. Wyoming ranked second with 6.06, and South Carolina ranked third with 5.74. The nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., ranked last with just 0.71 drunk driving fatalities per 100,000, followed by New York and New Jersey with 1.11 and 1.35, respectively.
“We’ve previously seen numerous studies examining states with the highest raw numbers of drunk driving fatalities,” says Brian Beltz, research lead on the project. “However, we believe comparing this data with the general population of each state offers unique insight that may be lost in just comparing the base quantity of alcohol-involved crash fatalities.”
Butler Wooten & Peak LLP also analyzed any year-over-year changes that may have occurred in the rate, comparing 2018’s drunk driving crash fatality rates to those of the previous year. New Hampshire and Alaska had the highest increase in crash fatality rate, rising sharply by 74.07% and 45.45%, respectively. By contrast, The District of Columbia (-64.29%), Connecticut (-37.61%), and North Dakota (-35.29%) had the most significant drops in rate. In all, just 13 states reported an increase in rates from 2017 to 2018.
“Comparing yearly drunk driving fatality rates is an effective way to put attention on any potential issues with drunk driving in the United States,” says Beltz. “Conversely, any states with positive changes may have implemented safety initiatives or other countermeasures that other states may be able to learn from.”
The full map and findings can be found here.
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