EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 48 percent of traffic deaths in El Paso County involve an impaired driver, which is the highest percentage among large counties.
Despite the efforts to reduce drunk driving, the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities has remained consistent over the past decade.
According to the study, 10,511 people were killed in drunk-driving accidents in 2018, representing 29 percent of all driving fatalities.
Drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents were more likely than other drivers to have previous driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions, speeding convictions, and license suspensions or revocations.
Drunk drivers are not the only ones affected, according to the study, in 2018, only 61 percent of the alcohol-related traffic fatalities were the drunk drivers themselves.
Instead, 13 percent were passengers in the same vehicle, 15 percent were occupants in other vehicles, and 11 percent were nonoccupants such as pedestrians and cyclists.
Nearly 10 percent of these alcohol-related traffic fatalities were children under the age of 14.
In Texas, 40 percent of traffic deaths involve an impaired driver while the national number is 29 percent.
Over the past five years, Texas accounted for 13.8 percent of all drunk-driving fatalities in the U.S., despite accounting for only 8.8 percent of the population, the study found.
Other states that are known for having high proportions of alcohol-related fatalities include Connecticut and North Dakota, both lower than Texas at 39 percent.
Among the 15 large counties, with 750,000 residents or more, with the most drunk-driving deaths, 10 are located in Texas.
El Paso County has the most traffic fatalities tied to alcohol-impaired drivers.
There have been 169 driving fatalities involving a drunk driver in the past five years in El Paso County out of 354 total traffic fatalities, which is 48 percent of traffic deaths involving an impaired driver.
For reference, there have been 52,609 driving fatalities involving a drunk driver in the past five years nationally out of 180,067 total traffic fatalities, which is 29 percent of traffic deaths involving an impaired driver.
For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results for all counties, you can find the original report on 360 Quote’s website.