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Volume 16: A Guide for Reducing Crashes Involving Alcohol

Aggressive Strategies Needed to Combat Alcohol-Related Crashes

The Problem

Alcohol-impaired driving is one of the nation’s deadliest crimes, claiming 16,885 lives in 2005. That’s 46 people a day on average. And alcohol is implicated in nearly 4 of every 10 motor vehicle crash fatalities. Following marked declines in alcohol-related crashes from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, the curve has flattened.

Annual fatalities have ranged between 16,500 and 18,000 a year since 1994. The societal cost of alcohol-related crashes exceeds $50 billion yearly—more than $136 million each day.

Despite the slowed progress in recent years, most experts agree that further reductions in alcohol-related crashed are possible. The fundamental methods of reducing alcohol-related crashes are to reduce excessive drinking and to deter driving while impaired by alcohol. By adopting strategies described in this Guide, or improving the implementation of these strategies where they are already in place, states can further reduce their alcohol-related crashes and the variety of related health and economic problems


  • Reduce excessive drinking and underage drinking.
  • Enforce DWI laws
  • Prosecute, sanction and treat DWI offenders
  • Control high BAC and repeat offenders

Download this guide: http://trb.org/publications/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_500v16.pdf

NCHRP 500-16


In 2006, an estimated 13,470 people were killed in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 g/dl or above.

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Related publications

Alcohol-Related Crashes

Self Assessment Tool

Integrated Safety Management Process