Safety while traveling is always a concern around big holidays, especially when it comes to driving. When planning a summer trip, you want to know about what kind of traffic you’ll encounter where you’re going. At Halloween, you think of sidewalk safety in your neighborhood. And ahead of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve, it’s worth knowing which areas have the most drunk drivers.
Forbes Advisor just released the findings from its own look into that question. Here are the five worst states for drunk driving.
Forbes Advisor looked at all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., comparing them across six key metrics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the FBI. They also surveyed 5,000 drivers about their experiences with drunk driving during the holidays. These results compare numbers of DUIs and fatalities involving drunk drivers.
The five worst states for drunk driving
The five states with the highest cumulative scores were these:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
For every 100,000 licensed drivers in Montana, there were 8.39 drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes, per the latest data available. For every 100,000 residents, 6.92 were killed in a crash involving a drunk driver, and almost half of the traffic deaths in the state in 2020 were caused by drunk drivers.
In terms of DUIs, South Dakota had the highest amount of arrests per 100,000 licensed drivers, with 965.85. North Dakota was second, with 918.32 per 100,000 licensed drivers.
The states with fewest drunk drivers
These states (plus D.C.) had the fewest drunk drivers:
- Washington, D.C.
- New Jersey
- New York
The nation’s capital did remarkably well in this analysis, with only 1.84 drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes per every 100,000 licensed drivers. Out of every 100,000, there were also only 1.69 DUI arrests. Only 19% of traffic deaths in the district were caused by drunk drivers in 2020, too. D.C. was the best in the nation in all three of those measures.
If you live in those areas, you can feel a bit better about your concerns over other drivers’ levels of intoxication, but it’s still important to stay cautious when you’re driving on occasions like major holidays, when people are more likely to be celebrating with alcohol before getting behind the wheel. And, of course, never drive drunk yourself. You already know it’s dangerous, but if you get caught, it’ll be costly, too—even if you manage to avoid hurting or killing someone else.
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