Nine years of Michigan fatal accident data, 1968-1976, were analyzed to assess the impact of lowering the minimum legal drinking age in Michigan from 21 to 18 on January 1, 1972. Driver age, sex, and the presence or absence of drinking were the key variables, and partitioning of the chi-square statistic into its degrees of freedom was the primary analytic technique. It was found that a peak occurs in the age-specific, had-been-drinking (HBD) rate about one year after drinking becomes legal for a particular age group. This peak shifted from age 22 to age 19 when the drinking age was lowered and resulted in an average increase of 53% in the HBD rate for 18-20 year old drivers with some increase in the 17 year old HBD rate. The increased HBD rate of young drivers also caused an overall increase in the HBD rate of all drivers even though the HBD rate of older drivers remained unchanged or even decreased.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Highway Safety Research Institute

    Huron Parkway and Baxter Road
    Ann Arbor, MI  United States  48109

    Michigan Department of State Highways & Transport

    Office of Highway Safety Planning, State Highways Building
    Lansing, MI  United States  48909
  • Authors:
    • Flora, J D
    • Filkins, L D
    • Compton, C P
  • Publication Date: 1978-3

Media Info

  • Pagination: 80 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00185885
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transportation Statistical Reference File, TSC
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UM-HSRI-78-16 Intrm Rpt., HS-023 674
  • Created Date: Dec 29 1979 12:00AM