Youth Crash Fatality Rates and Alcohol Related Fatalities

16-year-olds have the highest rate of fatalities per driven mile
  • The motor vehicle fatality rate for youth in 1998 was 26 deaths per 100,000 youth, two points lower than in 1997.
  • The alcohol-related fatality rate for youth has been cut by over half since 1988 . from 19 to 9 deaths per 100,000 youth.
  • Although youth alcohol-related fatalities declined only slightly from 1997, the rate dropped in 1998 because the youth population increased by almost a half million.

 

Fig1: Youth Crash Fatality Rates and Alcohol Related Fatalities Fig3: Youth Crash Fatality Rates and Alcohol Related Fatalities
Fig2: Youth Crash Fatality Rates and Alcohol Related Fatalities

The youth population has been rising since 1993, but has declined overall since 1982. The fatality rate (young people killed per 100,000 of the youth population) provides another perspective on trends that is not dependent on population size. In the last ten years, the alcohol-related fatality rate has steadily declined and is now the lowest since record-keeping began in 1982.

  • Compared to adults, youth are still over represented in both alcohol- and non-alcohol related fatality rates. Youth are over represented in non-alcohol-related crashes by a factor of 17 to 10. On the alcohol side, the gap remains narrow. There, the overrepresentation is 9 to 7. In 1982, youth were over represented in alcohol-related fatality rates by a factor of almost 2 to 1 (22 to 12).
  • The gap between adult and youth alcohol-related rates continues to be the smallest ever recorded.
  • Alcohol-related fatality rates are nearly twice as great for 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds as for the population over 21.
  • 16-year-old drivers have the highest rate of involvement in fatal crashes per mile driven.
  • If young people died each year at the 1982 alcohol fatality rate (per 100,000 population), over 25,000 additional youth would have died in alcohol-related crashes during the last sixteen years.
  • In the year 2000, with increased population estimates, 142 more young people will die in motor vehicle crashes than in 1998, if the fatality rate remains constant. If the fatality rate reverts back to the 1982 level, over more young people will die.
  • In 1998, New York edged out Utah with the lowest youth alcohol-related fatality rate, with 3.8 and 3.9 fatalities per 100,000 population, respectively. No other state had a fatality rate less than 5. The national rate was 9.5.

Youth Crash Fatality Rates and Alcohol Related (A/R) Fatalities

  Percent Change
  1982 1997 1998 82-98 97-98
Youth (15-20) Fatalities
Total Fatalities 8,508 6,296 6,168 -27.5 -2
A/R Fatalities 5,380 2,218 2,210 -58.9 -0.4
% of Total 63.2 35.2 35.8 -43.4 1.7
.01-.09 BAC 1,257 646 637 -49.3 -1.4
% of Total 14.8 10.3 10.3 -30.4 0
.10+ BAC 4,123 1,572 1,573 -61.8 0.1
% of Total 48.5 25 25.5 -47.4 2
Young Drivers Involved in Fatal Crashes
Total Fatalities 10,080 7,936 7,975 -20.9 0.5
A/R Fatalities 4,378 1,674 1,695 -61.3 1.3
% of Total 43.4 21.1 21.3 -50.9 0.9
.01-.09 BAC 1,287 563 604 -53.1 7.3
% of Total 12.8 7.1 7.6 -40.6 7
.10+ BAC 3,092 1,112 1,091 -64.7 -1.9
% of Total 30.7 14 13.7 -55.4 -2.1
Young Drivers Killed
Total Fatalities 4,526 3,358 3,427 -24.3 2.1
A/R Fatalities 2,501 957 973 61.1 1.7
% of Total 55.3 28.5 28.4 -48.6 -0.4
.01-.09 BAC 548 248 262 -52.2 5.6
% of Total 12.1 7.4 7.6 -37.2 2.7
.10+ BAC 1,953 710 711 -63.6 0.1
% of Total 43.2 21.1 20.7 -52.1 -1.9
Youth Fatalities by Involvement of Young Drivers
Total Fatalities 6,723 5,193 5,129 -23.7 -1.2
A/R Fatalities 3,753 1,503 1,495 -60.2 -0.5
% of Total 55.8 28.9 29.1 -47.8 0.7
.01-.09 BAC 990 459 483 51.2 5.2
% of Total 14.7 8.8 9.4 -36.1 6.8
.10+ BAC 2,763 1,044 1,011 -63.4 -3.2
% of Total 41.1 20.1 19.7 -52.1 -2
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