Driver's alcohol and passenger's death in motor vehicle crashes
2006 (English)In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, Vol. 7, no 3, 219-223 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
OBJECTIVE: Previous studies on alcohol involvement associated with fatal injury in traffic crashes have focused on the drivers, but the passenger's view is not well known. This study (1) analyzes the relationship between passenger's death and alcohol inebriation of the driver and (2) estimates the role of alcohol as the cause of a crash by examining who was at fault, sober, or inebriated.
METHOD: The study includes all motor vehicle passengers (n = 420) who died in crashes in Sweden 1993 through 1996 and were medicolegally autopsied. Autopsy reports from the Departments of Forensic Medicine, including toxicological analyses, and police reports were studied. Presence of alcohol among drivers was based on blood and breath tests.
RESULTS: One-fifth of the fatally injured passengers and one-fifth of the tested drivers were under the influence of alcohol. The youngest drivers had the highest prevalence of drunken driving. Drivers at fault were alcohol positive in 21% of these crashes and drivers were not at fault in 2% of these crashes. In 53% of the crashes where both the passenger and driver were alcohol positive, the passenger had a lower alcohol concentration than the driver. Children (<16 years) comprised 15% of the killed passengers. Notably, the children were riding with a driver who was under influence of alcohol in 13% of these crashes. Alcohol involvement was not tested in half of the surviving drivers.
CONCLUSIONS: The data show that 20% of both passengers and drivers were under the influence of alcohol. Increased testing of surviving drivers regarding alcohol and other drugs is recommended.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2006. Vol. 7, no 3, 219-223 p.
Accidents; Traffic/*mortality, Adolescent, Adult, Age Distribution, Aged, Aged; 80 and over, Alcohol Drinking/*mortality, Alcoholic Intoxication/*mortality, Breath Tests, Central Nervous System Depressants/*analysis, Child, Child; Preschool, Ethanol/*analysis, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant; Newborn, Male, Middle Aged, Sweden/epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-12801DOI: 10.1080/15389580600727846PubMedID: 16990235OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-12801DiVA: diva2:152472