National Safety Council estimates 408 people may die due to drunk driving this weekend

New Year’s Eve holiday period is Dec. 30-Jan. 2, 2023

The National Safety Council estimates that 408 people may die from drunk driving from Dec. 30 through Jan. 2, 2023.

The NSC says its estimates are reflected in the probability that the actual number of deaths will fall within a specific range. Their confidence interval is in the 90th percentile, and is between 333 and 490 fatalities.

The holiday period is considered to take place from Dec. 30 through Jan. 2, 2023. Since New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, the NSC stated that the holiday period is 3.25 days long.

The NSC acknowledges that this estimate varies due to the travel habits seen between 2020 and 2022, which were impacted by the COVID pandemic. In 2020, the NSC reported 209 drunk driving-related fatalities during the Christmas and New Year’s periods. Outside of the holidays, 11,654 people were killed across the nation due to drunk driving-related incidents.

Below is data from the NSC. The first is the traffic deaths during the New Year’s Day period compared to non-holiday periods. The second showcases drunk driving fatalities compared to other holidays during the New Year’s Day period.

Traffic deaths during New Year’s Day period compared to equivalent non-holiday periods

Comparison of holiday period traffic fatalities

More: Mike Morse Law Firm offering free Uber rides for Metro Detroiters on New Year’s Eve

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shares tips for getting home safely New Year’s weekend

Ride-Sharing, ride-hailing and taxis

  • Confirm your ride by checking the license plate: Make sure the car and license plate match what you booked through the app.

Find a safe spot to be picked up

  • You should pick a location where you can wait inside until the driver arrives. If that’s not possible, choose an area to wait that’s away from the roadway and is well-lit.

Wear a seat belt

  • You should always buckle up, and make sure that your driver wears their seat belt, too.

Bikes and Scooters

  • Don’t ride a bike or scooter after drinking alcohol or using drugs.


  • An estimated 32% of deadly pedestrian crashes in 2017 involved a person who was drunk and walking. Be visible, especially at night -- 75% of pedestrian deaths in 2017 happened when it was dark.

Public transportation

  • Choose a seat near the driver or operator.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.