Oklahoma Drunk Driving Fatalities: 2008


A recent study by McIntyre Law, P.C. examined statistics of alcohol-related fatalities from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO), the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), and some interesting trends emerged across the state of Oklahoma and its 77 counties. While alcohol-related crashes remained consistent during the five year period from 2004 to 2008, the number of fatalities has drastically increased in 2007 and 2008. Tulsa and Oklahoma counties had the highest number of alcohol-related fatalities over the period, but had remarkable decreases from 2004 to 2008. In contrast, the counties of Atoka and Adair had tremendous increases in fatalities caused by alcohol-related crashes during that time.

Overall, the number of deaths in alcohol-related car accidents has increased since 2004. More needs to be done in Oklahoma to raise public awareness regarding the consequences of drunk driving.

Alcohol-Related Fatalities Compared to All Fatalities, 2004 – 2008

Alcohol Related Fatalities compared to all fatalities

There were 266 fatalities due to alcohol-related car crashes in Oklahoma in 2008, or 35.42% of fatalities from all car crashes in that year. Fatalities increased 30% from 187 in 2004. Fatalities also increased from 2007 to 2008 by 14%. Fatalities in alcohol-related car crashes accounted for 16.01% of the total fatalities from 2004 to 2008. While fatalities decreased in 2005 and 2006, the overall 5-year trend shows the number of alcohol-related fatalities increasing.

Meanwhile, the number of alcohol-related car accidents in Oklahoma has stayed steady over the last 5 years, and the number of injuries from alcohol-related crashes has decreased slightly.

Alcohol-Related Crashes, Injuries and Fatalities, 2004 – 2008

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Crashes 5,292 5,416 5,442 4,980 5,201
Injuries 4,097 4,066 4,223 3,442 3,612
Fatalities 187 166 157 229 266

Source: OHSO

Oklahoma Fatality Rate Compared to US Average Fatality Rate in 2008

Fatality Rate in Oklahoma Compared to US Average

The fatality rate in alcohol-related crashes per 100 million VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) was 0.50. That is 21.95% higher than the US average fatality rate of 0.41 per 100 million VMT. Only the state of Delaware has the same fatality rate. Twelve states have a fatality rate higher than Oklahoma; 37 states have a lower fatality rate.

Alcohol-Related Crashes by Time of Day*, 2008

alcohol crashes by time of day

*Day is defined as 6 a.m. to 5:59 p.m. Night is defined as 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.

73.71% of alcohol-related crashes, or 157 crashes, occurred at night in Oklahoma in 2008.

Male vs. Female Drivers in Alcohol-Related Crashes, 2008

Male versus female drivers in drunk driving accidents

69.74% of drivers involved in alcohol-related crashes in Oklahoma in 2008 were male.

Rural vs. Urban Alcohol-Related Crashes, 2008

Rural versus Urban alcohol-related accidents

55% of alcohol-related crashes with injuries occurred in urban areas of Oklahoma in 2008. Conversely, 69.80% of alcohol-related crashes that involved fatalities occurred in rural areas.

Fatalities in Alcohol-Related Crashes by County, from 2004 – 2008

Drunk Driving Related Crashes by Oklahoma County

Counties with the Most Fatalities from 2004 – 2008

County Total Fatalities
Oklahoma 81
Tulsa 68
Cleveland 35
Adair 31
Creek 30

Source: OHSO

Oklahoma, Tulsa, Cleveland, Adair and Creek counties had the highest number of fatalities in alcohol-related crashes over the 5-year period. They accounted for nearly 25% of all alcohol-related fatalities in Oklahoma during that time.

Counties with the Least Fatalities from 2004 – 2008

County Total Fatalities
Tillman 1
Jefferson 2
Woods 2
Harmon 3
Harper 3
Kiowa 3
Texas 3

Source: OHSO

Tillman, Jefferson, Woods, Harmon, Harper, Kiowa and Texas counties had the lowest number of alcohol-related fatalities over the period from 2004 to 2008. This was less than 2% of the total alcohol-related fatalities in Oklahoma.

Fatalities in Alcohol-Related Crashes by Population, from 2004 – 2008

Oklahoma Alcohol-Related fatalities by population 2004-2008

Counties with the Highest Fatality Rate from 2004 – 2008

County Fatalities per 100,000 People Fatalities Population*
Alfalfa 442.26 27 6,105
Cimarron 254.13 8 3,148
Beaver 239.03 14 5,857
McClain 159.05 12 7,545
Cotton 151.19 10 6,614
Dewey 147.59 7 4,743
Adair 147.35 31 21,038
Ellis 122.70 5 4,075
Roger Mills 166.41 4 3,436
Coal 116.07 7 6,031

Source: OHSO, US Census Bureau

Counties with the Lowest Fatality Rate from 2004 – 2008

County Fatalities per 100,000 People Fatalities Population*
Tillman 10.77 1 9,287
Tulsa 12.07 68 563,299
Oklahoma 12.26 81 660,448
Washington 14.28 7 48,996
Texas 14.92 3 20,107
Cleveland 16.83 35 208,016
Muskogee 17.28 12 69,451
Okmulgee 17.64 7 39,685
Stephens 18.53 8 43,182
Wagoner 19.13 11 57,491

Source: OHSO, US Census Bureau

*Population is from 2000 census data.

The counties with the highest alcohol-related fatalities per 100,000 people correspond with lower populations, and counties with lower fatalities per 100,000 people correspond with higher populations. However, Tillman County has the lowest fatality rate in alcohol-related crashes between 2004 and 2008, and only has 9,287 people. As well, Adair County has 21,038 people, and is found amongst Oklahoma’s highest fatality rates for alcohol-related crashes, with 31 fatalities.

Percent of Change in Alcohol-Related Fatalities by County, from 2004 – 2008

Percentage of Change in Drunk Driving fatalities in Oklahoma counties

Counties with the Greatest Increase in Fatalities from 2004 to 2008

County 2004 Fatalities 2008 Fatalities % Increase
Atoka 1 10 900%
Adair 3 26 767%
Cimarron 1 6 500%
Delaware 1 5 400%
Garvin 1 5 400%
Beckham 2 8 300%
Chocktaw 2 7 250%
Cherokee 2 7 250%
Canadian 2 7 250%
Jackson 1 3 200%
Garfield 2 5 150%

Source: OHSO

Counties with the Greatest Decrease in Fatalities from 2004 to 2008

County 2004 Fatalities 2008 Fatalities % Decrease
Tillman 1 0 -100%
Washita 1 0 -100%
Pushmataha 2 0 -100%
Pontotoc 1 0 -100%
Stephens 3 0 -100%
Woodward 5 0 -100%
Sequoyah 1 0 -100%
Wagoner 3 0 -100%
Seminole 8 0 -100%
Rogers 4 0 -100%
Pottawatomie 4 0 -100%
Tulsa 14 0 -100%
Oklahoma 23 1 -96%
Muskogee 5 1 -80%

Source: OHSO

Oklahoma County had the greatest number of fatalities caused by alcohol-related crashes between 2004 and 2008. That county had the highest number of fatalities in the years 2004 and 2005, with 23 and 19 fatalities, respectively. It had the second highest number of fatalities in 2006 and 2007, while Tulsa County took the highest position with 11 and 32 fatalities.

Alcohol-related fatalities in Oklahoma County decreased by 96% over the 5-year period, down to 1 fatality in 2008. Tulsa County also greatly decreased, with 14 alcohol-related fatalities in 2004 and 0 in 2008.

Atoka and Adair counties had the greatest increase in fatalities from 2004 to 2008, with 900% and 767% increase, respectively. Atoka (10 fatalities), Adair (26 fatalities) and Alfalfa (24 fatalities) had the highest number of fatalities from alcohol-related car crashes in 2008 in Oklahoma.

McIntyre Law is here to help protect the rights of Oklahoma car accident victims. If someone you love has been hurt due to a drunk driving accident, contact personal injury attorneys for a free consultation to learn more about your rights.

If you would like to help increase awareness of Oklahoma drunk driving, please join the conversation by contacting the local Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) chapter nearest you:

  • Oklahoma MADD Chapter
    Phone: 405-748-3122
    Email: ok.state@madd.org
    Web: https://www.madd.org/oklahoma/
  • Oklahoma SADD Chapter
    PO Box 53277
    Oklahoma City, OK 73152
    Phone: 405-522-2700
    Email: tiffani.henry@odmhsas.org

Sources

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