Oklahoma Drunk Driving Fatalities: 2009 Statistics


McIntyre Law, P.C., recently performed a study which compiled and examined drunk driving accident statistics gathered from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO), the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Statewide findings were encouraging, while some of the county-specific data was disturbing. The number of alcohol-related car accidents rose steadily between 2005 and 2008, but fatalities dropped dramatically from 2008 to 2009. Sadly, Oklahoma and Tulsa counties once again saw the highest number of drunk driving fatalities over the last five years. Stephens County had the greatest increase in alcohol-related fatalities from 2008 to 2009. Conversely, Sequoyah and Marshall counties had the greatest decreases during the same period.

Overall in Oklahoma, drunk driving accidents have increased since 2005. The state must do more to raise public awareness about the devastation caused by drunk driving.

Alcohol-Related Fatalities in Oklahoma, 2005 – 2009

Fatalities in alcohol-related accidents decreased by 21%

Drunk driving statistics show that in 2009 in Oklahoma, 209 fatalities resulted from drunk driving accidents, a decrease of 21% from last year. During the same period, traffic-related deaths dropped by only 2%. Although the number of alcohol-related fatalities went down between 2008 and 2009, the recorded number was still 26% higher than 2005. Even though alcohol-related fatalities decreased in 2006 and 2009, the long-term trend over the five-year period from 2005 to 2009 shows an increase in alcohol-related traffic deaths.

In addition, the number of Oklahoma drunk driving accidents has remained fairly consistent during the last five years, while alcohol-related injuries have risen.

Alcohol-Related Crashes, Injuries and Fatalities, 2005 – 2009

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Crashes 5,416 5,442 4,980 5,201 4,972
Injuries 4,066 4,223 3,442 3,612 3,452
Fatalities 166 157 229 266 209

Oklahoma Alcohol-Related Fatalities by Time of Day, 2009

76% of fatal crashes involving alcohol occur at night

Drunk driving statistics indicate that in accidents with alcohol-impaired drivers, three times as many deaths occur at night than during the day.

Males vs. Females in Alcohol-Related Crashes, 2009

Males are 5x more likely to be killed in crashes involving alcohol than females

Men are almost five times more likely than women to be killed in accidents with alcohol-impaired drivers.

Fatalities in Alcohol-Related Crashes by County, 2005 – 2009

Oklahoma & Tulsa counties had the highest number of fatalities in the last 5 years

Counties with the Most Fatalities, 2005 – 2009

County Total Fatalities
Oklahoma 106
Tulsa 96
Cleveland 39
Creek 31
Canadian 27
Cherokee 27
Caddo 26
Carter 23
Comanche 23
Wagoner 23

Counties with the Fewest Fatalities, 2005 – 2009

County Total Fatalities
Harmon 0
Kiowa 1
Kingfisher 1
Jefferson 1
Harper 1

Of the ten counties with the highest numbers of alcohol-related fatalities from 2005 to 2009, Oklahoma County comes in first with 106 deaths. This is an increase of 21% over the entire period, but a drop of 12% between 2008 and 2009. Oklahoma was the deadliest county last year as well. The second-deadliest county was Tulsa with 96 deaths, an increase of 65% over the five-year period, and a decrease of 25% from 2008 to 2009. The least deadly county was Harmon with no drunk driving fatalities in the last five years.

Fatalities in Alcohol-Related Crashes by Population, 2005 – 2009

McCurtain County had the highest fatality rate in 2009

Counties with the Highest Fatality Rate, 2005 – 2009

County Fatalities per 100,00 People Actual Fatalities Population*
McCurtain 166.87 22 13,184
McClain 159.05 12 7,545
Roger Mills 116.41 4 3,436
Beaver 102.44 6 5,857
Caddo 86.24 26 30,150
Mayes 77.10 15 19,456
Haskell 76.32 9 11,792
Beckham 75.76 15 19,799
Blaine 75.15 9 11,976
Pushmataha 68.57 8 11,667

*Population is from 2000 census data.

Counties with the Lowest Fatality Rate, 2005 – 2009

County Fatalities per 100,00 People Actual Fatalities Population*
Harmon 0 0 3,283
Kingfisher 7.18 1 13,926
Major 7.21 2 27,740
Kiowa 9.78 1 10,227
Garfield 10.38 6 57,813
Jackson 14.07 4 28,439
Jefferson 14.67 1 6,818
Oklahoma 16.05 106 660,448
Tulsa 17.04 96 563,299
Cleveland 18.75 39 208,016

*Population is from 2000 census data.

When looking at drunk driving statistics in Oklahoma, it’s important to bear in mind population density varies from county to county. Harmon is the only county with a fatality rate of zero over the last five years, so population is irrelevant. However, Jefferson County had roughly twice the fatality rate of Kingfisher County, yet both counties had just one actual death each. Oklahoma, Tulsa, and Cleveland counties had the highest rates of drunk driving fatalities, but those numbers were also offset by those counties being the most densely populated.

Increases and Decreases in Alcohol-Related Fatalities by County, 2008 – 2009

Stephens County had the greatest increase in alcohol-related fatalities

Counties with the Greatest Increase in Fatalities, 2008 – 2009

County 2008 Fatalities 2009 Fatalities % of Increase
Stephens 1 4 300%
McIntosh 1 3 200%
Mayes 2 5 150%
Creek 3 7 133%
Murray 1 2 100%
Coal 1 2 100%

Counties with the Greatest Decrease in Fatalities, 2008 – 2009

County 2008 Fatalities 2009 Fatalities % of Decrease
Sequoyah 7 0 -100%
Marshall 6 0 -100%
McClain 2 0 -100%
Washita 3 0 -100%
Ellis 2 0 -100%
Noble 1 1 -100%
Beaver 1 0 -100%
Garfield 1 0 -100%
Texas 1 0 -100%
Cimarron 1 0 -100%
Harper 1 0 -100%
Jefferson 1 0 -100%

While Murray and Coal counties each had just one death more in 2009, this accounts for a 100% increase in alcohol-related traffic fatalities, a disturbing figure. Even more disturbing, though, is the 300% increase in Stephens County, the greatest increase in drunk driving fatalities between 2008 and 2009 of all the counties in the state.

Meanwhile, Sequoyah had the greatest decrease in deaths resulting from drunk driving accidents, dropping from seven fatalities in 2008 to none in 2009. Ten other counties saw their actual fatality numbers drop to zero in the same time period.

Part of McIntyre Law’s mission is to help protect the rights of Oklahoma car accident victims. If you or someone you love has been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact personal injury attorneys at our firm for a free consultation.

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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