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SA-17 Data Details

SA-17 Decrease the rate of alcohol-impaired driving (.08+ blood alcohol content [BAC]) fatalities

About the Data

Description of the data source, numerator, denominator, survey questions, and other relevant details about the national estimate.

National Data Source
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS); Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT/NHTSA)
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch
per 100,000,000 vehicle miles traveled 
Baseline (Year)
0.40 (2008)
Target-Setting Method
Maintain consistency with national programs, regulations, policies, and laws.
Number of alcohol related motor vehicle crash deaths reported in FARS
Total vehicle miles traveled
Data Collection Frequency
Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective
Adapted from HP2010 objective
Methodology Notes

The Federal Highway Administration estimates total vehicle miles traveled using an algorithm that includes gas sales, vehicle registration, vehicle fuel economy data, and other data from the Highway Performance Monitoring System. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a fatal crash as alcohol related if either a driver or a nonmotorist has a measurable or estimated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 g/dL or above. BAC is measured as a percentage by weight of alcohol in the blood (expressed as grams per deciliter). An elevated BAC level (0.08g/dL and higher) indicates that enough alcohol was consumed by the person tested to impair normal functions. Only deaths that occur within 30 days of the motor vehicle crash are included (less than 2 percent of the total number of deaths occur after 30 days). FARS data are obtained solely from a State's existing documents, including police crash reports, death certificates (coded to ICD-10 V30-V39 [.4-.9], V40-V49 [.4-.9], V50-V59 [.4-.9], V60-V69 [.4-.9], V70-V79 [.4-.9], V81.1, V82.1, V83-V86 [.0-.3], V20-V28 [.3-.9]. V29 [.4-.9], V12-V14 [.3-.9], V19 [.4-.6], V02-V04 [.1, .9], V09.2, V80 [.3-.5], V87 [.0-.8], V89.2), vehicle registration files, and hospital medical reports.

A description of the FARS data set has been published by NHTSA.

A description of the primary measurement used to determine the number of Vehicle Miles Traveled annually in the US has been published by the Department of Transportation (DOT).


Additional resources about the objective.

  1. Federal Highway Administration. Annual Vehicle Miles Travelled and Related Data: Procedures Used to Derive Data Elements Contained in Highway Statistics Table VM1 for Years 2009 and after and 2007 and 2008 Historical Data. Washington, DC. Available from:
  2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2008: A Compilation of Motor Vehicle Crash Data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation, March 2010.