Crash FactsPennsylvania DUI Association
▶ In Pennsylvania, drinking and driving remains a top safety issue. In 2020, alcohol-related crashes decreased to 7,700 from 9,380 alcohol-related crashes in 2019. In 2020, alcohol-related fatalities decreased to 293 from 299 in 2019.
▶ Of particular concern is the involvement of drinking drivers under the age of 21. 17% of the driver fatalities in the 16-20 age group were drinking drivers, up from 14% in 2019. Improvement in this age group is a very important need.
▶ Of equal focus is the 31 to 35 age group, in which 44% of the driver fatalities were drinking drivers. This age group had the worst percentage of all groups, and was up from 39% in 2019. The 26 to 30 age group increased to 36% from 34% in 2019.
▶ In 2020, alcohol-related deaths were 26% of the total traffic fatalities, less than in 2018 and 2019.
▶ 293 people died in alcohol-related crashes.
▶ 89% of the alcohol-related occupant fatalities (drivers and passengers) were in the vehicle driven by the drinking driver; 75% were the drinking drivers themselves.
▶ 74% of the drinking drivers in traffic crashes were male.
▶ 70% of the alcohol-related crashes were during the hours of darkness, usually on weekends.
▶ On average each day, 21 alcohol-related traffic crashes occurred.
▶ On average each day, 0.8 persons were fatally injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes.
▶ On average each day, 13 persons were injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes.
Alcohol Involvement in Crashes
Although alcohol-related crashes accounted for approximately 7% of the total crashes in 2020, they resulted in 26% of all persons fatally injured in crashes. Alcohol-related crashes were 4.3 times more likely to result in fatal injury than those not related to alcohol (3.5% of the alcohol-related crashes resulted in fatal injury, compared to 0.8% of crashes which were not alcohol-related). “PDO Crashes” in the table below refers to property damage only crashes.
|Fatal Crashes||Fatalities||Injury Crashes||Injuries||PDO Crashes|
|Alcohol-Related||270 (25.5%)||293 (26.0%)||3,701 (8.2%)||4,917 (8.0%)||4,729 (6.4%)|
|Non-Alcohol Related||790 (74.5%)||836 (74.1%)||41,256 (91.8%)||56,331 (92.0%)||54,729 (93.6%)|
|Total||1,060 (100.0%)||1,129 (100.0%)||44,957 (100.0%)||61,248 (100.0%)||58,458 (100.0%)|
Alcohol-Related Crashes—Five-Year Trends
Alcohol-related crashes decreased in 2020, and were the lowest total in the last five years. Alcohol-related fatalities decreased in 2020, and were the lowest total in the last five years. Alcohol-related fatalities are trending downward.
|Fatal Crashes per 100,000 Licensed Drivers||3.0||3.1||3.4||3.1||3.0|
|Deaths per 100,000 Licensed Drivers||3.3||3.3||3.7||3.3||3.2|
Victims of Alcohol-Related Fatal Crashes
There were 264 driver and passenger fatalities in alcohol-related crashes in 2020, while 234 (89%) were the drinking drivers or their passengers.
|Drinking Drivers||198 (91.7%)|
|Non-Drinking Drivers||18 (8.3%)|
|Passengers with Drinking Driver||36 (75.0%)|
|Passengers with Non-Drinking Driver||12 (25.0%)|
|Drinking Pedestrian||23 (95.8%)|
|Non-Drinking Pedestrian||1 (4.2%)|
Victims of Fatal Crashes by Time of Day
Alcohol-related crashes occurring between 8:00 PM and 4:00 AM produced the vast majority of deaths (57% of alcohol-related deaths). In contrast, under half of the fatalities (48%) from non-alcohol-related crashes resulted from crashes occurring between noon and 8:00 PM.
|Time of Occurrence||Non-Alcohol Related||Alcohol Related|
Victims of Fatal Crashes by Day of Week
Under half (48%) of alcohol-related fatal crash victims were the result of crashes occurring on Saturday and Sunday, while fatal crash victims of non-alcohol-related crashes tended to be distributed more evenly throughout the work week with the fewest occurring on Sunday and Monday.
|Day of Occurrence||Non-Alcohol-Related||Alcohol-Related|
Alcohol-Related Crashes—Day vs. Night
70.0% of alcohol-related crashes occurred at night.
Alcohol-Related Holiday Crashes
In 2019, 10% of all holiday crashes involved alcohol use; however, 31% of deaths which occurred during holiday weekends were related to alcohol use.
|Post New Years||18||1|
|Post Memorial Day||77||8|
Driver Involvement in Alcohol-Related Crashes by Vehicle Type
Motorcyclists had the largest percentage of drinking drivers to total drivers compared to the drivers of other types of vehicles. Drinking drivers of passenger cars, light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles were equal to or just above the average for drivers of all vehicle types. Bus and heavy truck drivers accounted for very few of the drinking drivers in crashes.
Total Drivers in Crashes – 165,461
Drinking Drivers in Crashes -7,577 (4.6% of total)
|Passenger Cars||4,195||4.8% of total|
|Lt Trk/SUV/Van||2,960||4.5% of total|
|Heavy Truck||47||0.7% of total|
|Motorcycle||284||8.1% of total|
|Bus||0||0.0% of total|
|Other||91||5.5% of total|
Drinking Drivers in Crashes by Age and Sex
In 2019, roughly 3 out of 4 drinking drivers in crashes were male (across most age groups), with only slight variations among the age groups. The table below does not include an additional 73 drivers for whom age and/or sex were not known.
Drinking Drivers vs. Non-Drinking Drivers Involved in Crashes by Age Group
In 2020, as the table below shows, the two age groups from 21 to 30 had the highest percentage of drinking drivers within their respective age groups. After age 25, the percentage of drinking drivers within the succeeding age groups steadily declined. The Under 16 age group continues to be of particular concern, as it included 4 drinking drivers.
|Age Group||Drinking Driver||Non-Drinking Driver|
Drinking Driver Fatalities as a Percentage of Total Driver Deaths, by Age Group
The table below shows drinking driver fatalities as a percentage of total driver fatalities within each respective age group for 2019 crashes. The age group from 21 to 25 had the highest percentage, with 43% of the driver fatalities in this age group being a drinking driver. The 16-20 age group decreased from 28.9% in 2018. In 2019, there were no drivers under the age of 16 who chose to combine alcohol usage and driving without a license.
|Age Group||Percentage of Total Driver Fatalities|
Underage Drinking Drivers in Pennsylvania Crashes—Historical Data
Act 31, commonly known as the “Underage Drinking Law,” went into effect on May 24, 1988. From that year, and until 1994, the number of underage drinking drivers involved in Pennsylvania crashes declined each year. From 1997 until 2002, the amount of underage drinking drivers remained consistently high. From that point until 2020 there has been a downward trend with 2020, 2012 and 2016 disrupting the steady decrease.
|Year||Underage Drinking Drivers in PA Crashes|