Bexar County, Texas had 159 traffic fatalities caused by drunk drivers in 2008. Drunk driving was the number one cause of traffic fatalities in San Antonio for the period of 2004 through 2008. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of all Texas auto fatalities involved a drunk driver in 2008. The majority of drunken driving accidents involve a driver between the ages of 21-24 and a blood alcohol level of 0.15, nearly double the legal limit.
The only other factor that substantially contributes to fatal automobile accidents is excessive speed. Other causes of motor vehicle accidents do not even come close to Driving While Intoxicated. Large trucks such as 18 wheelers were only involved in 13 fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2008.
Recently there have been a large number of pedestrian fatalities in San Antonio. Bexar County has averaged 2 to 3 pedestrian fatalities per month since 2004. Also, recently there have been a number of fatalities involving bicyclists. This appears to be a spike and is probably related to more people riding bikes. Bexar County has historically averaged three cyclist fatalities per year. Bexar County has exceeded its yearly average in the period from September through August.
Texas and California had approximately 3,400 fatal auto accidents in 2008. In a recent analysis of traffic fatalities, it was projected that there will be a decrease in the number of fatal accidents in 2009. Traffic fatalities have been decreasing steadily since 2005. A major reason for the projected decrease in traffic fatalities in 2009 is that the slowdown in the economy has reduced the number of vehicles on the road and the total number of miles driven.It would appear from the statistics that the greatest reduction in automobile accident fatalities would come from reducing binge drinking and driving among 21 to 24 year old drivers. This group of drivers is the least experienced at drinking and therefore has the lowest tolerance. Enhancing the drunken driving punishment for the 21 to 24 year old group may decrease fatalities across the State, as well.