A new graphic released December 27 charts all drinking and driving deaths on U.S. roads from 2001-2010. The map shows brighter areas where the greatest concentration of highway fatalities took place, using data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Board (NHTSB).
The map, created by John Nelson on the IDV Solutions’ UX Blog, shows some areas are notable for a low-rate of drinking and driving deaths (indicated by more blue in the dark map). Those areas, like Manhattan and Memphis, contrast with others that are shockingly high (indicated by more yellow/orange in the dark map) including St Louis and across the state of South Carolina.
A map in the slideshow showing the Chicago area as well as a piece of Wisconsin leading up to Milwaukee, also shows a high concentration of alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities. A large bright spot on the map highlights a popular vacation spot for Chicagoans, the Lake Geneva/Walworth County, Wisconsin area, with an abnormally high amount of crashes involving alcohol for the population.
The highest density areas from 2001-2010 are located in the Northeast and along the West Coast. Florida and Texas also have a large number of DUI collisions. Areas such as Wisconsin that have a disproportionate number of people with alcohol use disorders and the disease of alcoholism appear higher in the percentage of deadly alcohol-crashes compared to locales such as Manhattan, where public transportation is more readily available but alcohol problems may be as bad.
Each year, 40 percent of fatal crashes are considered alcohol related. In 2011, the NHTSB put the nationwide number of drinking and driving fatalities at just under 10,000. On an average day, 27 deaths on the road are attributed to intoxicated driving, but the number spikes to 45 per day during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.