Study Finds Oklahoma 2nd Most Dangerous for Drivers on New Year’s


Tuesday, December 31st 2019, 8:03 pm
By: Amy Slanchik


A study released this month found Oklahoma is the second most dangerous state for drivers on New Year's Eve and New Year’s Day.

The study was done by a Wisconsin law firm with the help of a data visualization and consumer safety advocacy firm called “Safer America.”

The study said Oklahoma is the second most dangerous state for drivers to be, after Mississippi. The firm looked at deadly crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2013 to 2018. The data is based on the number of crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers.

"That is a high number and that is something that concerns us,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Southall said.

Southall said OHP will be doing everything it can to keep people safe, by getting drunk and high drivers off the roads.

"Folks need to realize that being under the influence of marijuana is the same penalty legally as being under the influence of alcohol,” he said.

OHP will have two sobriety checkpoints on New Year’s Eve, one in Tulsa, and the other in Pottawatomie County.      

Troopers are teaming up with more than 100 law enforcement agencies looking for drivers who are under the influence.

"We're really trying to reduce the number of fatalities that we have across the state by putting troopers out tonight and being visible in high-traffic areas. Not just high-traffic areas, but county roads. We really try to put our full force out there,” Southall said.

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office said during the New Year's holiday in 2018, there were nearly 400 crashes across Oklahoma. Five people died in those crashes. Two of those deaths were because of drug or alcohol-related crashes.

More information about crashes on other holidays can be found here.

“Look out for your friends,” Southall said. “If you feel like they're intoxicated, take it upon yourself to make sure they get home safe. And let's all have a good year going into 2020 and a whole new decade."

If you suspect someone is driving under the influence call 911 or * 55 to connect with an OHP dispatcher.