THE DRINKING DRIVER OR THE DRIVING DRINKER? ALCOHOL, ALCOHOLISM AND OTHER FACTORS IN ROAD ACCIDENTS

THIS STUDY HAS INVESTIGATED THE AGE AND DRINKING HABITS OF PERSONS KILLED IN ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS, AND THE EVIDENCE OF ALCOHOL-CAUSED LIVER DAMAGE IN THESE SUBJECTS. OVER A PERIOD OF 14 MONTHS, THE RECORDS AND ACCIDENT DATA OF 120 FATALITIES IN BRISBANE WERE EXAMINED, A SOCIAL WORKER OBTAINED DATA ABOUT PAST HEALTH, DRINKING HABITS AND OTHER DETAILS FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILITIES OF THE DECEASED. AMONG 46 DRIVERS AND MOTOR CYCLISITS THERE WAS A PREPONDERANCE OF YOUNGER MEN, MANY OF WHOM WERE REGARDED AS MODERATE DRINKERS, BUT WHO OFTEN SHOWED HIGH BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVELS. ONLY SIX OF THE DRIVERS COULD BE CLASSED AS ABNORMAL DRINKERS. THE 48 PEDESTRIANS WERE SOMEWHAT OLDER THAN THE DRIVERS AND OFTEN HAD BEEN DRINKING HEAVILY. TWENTY-FIVE PASSENGERS WERE ALSO KILLED AS A RESULT OF THESE ACCIDENTS. THERE WERE 31 SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENTS, PREDOMINANTLY INVOLVING YOUNGER MEN, MANY OF WHOM HAD BEEN DRINKING BEFOREHAND. ONLY SIX SUBJECTS SHOWED CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER, OF WHOM TWO WERE DRIVERS. THE STUDY WAS NOT ABLE TO CONFIRM THAT MAJOR LIVER DAMAGE RESULTING FROM ALCOHOL WAS A COMMON FINDING AMONG DRIVERS KILLED ON THE ROADS. THE OVERALL IMPRESSION WAS THAT YOUNG MEN, NOT NECESSARILY ALCOHOLICS OR HEAVY DRINKERS, MADE A DISPROPORTIONATE CONTRIBUTION TO DRIVER FATALITIES AFTER AN UNUSUAL AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL HAD BEEN CONSUMED. IN THE LIGHT OF THE RESULTS AND THE SOCIAL WORKER'S INVESTIGATIONS, A NUMBER OF RECOMMENDATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE TO TRY TO REDUCE DRUNKEN DRIVING AND TO ASSIST THE FAMILIES OF THE VICTIMS OF ROAD ACCIDENTS. /AUTHOR/

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Whitlock, F A
    • Armstrong, J L
    • Tonge, J I
    • O'reilly, M J
  • Publication Date: 1971-7-3

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 5-16
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00223918
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Nat Safety Council Safety Res Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 13 1972 12:00AM