Alcohol and Older Drivers’ Crashes

This study examined blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of people admitted to trauma centers in Oregon over 11 years and focused on: (1) Ascertaining the prevalence of alcohol in crash-involved older drivers; (2) Comparing the driving records and crash culpability of older drivers with and without elevated BACs; and (3) Comparing BAC levels of older drivers who were in traffic crashes to other reference groups: younger crash-involved drivers and older patients admitted for fall-related injuries. The study sample included 83,841 people 18 and older treated by a trauma unit in Oregon and recorded in the Oregon Trauma Registry for the years 2000 through 2010. Patients 65 and older comprised 15,900 (19%) of this total. Overall, the study found that the drivers 65 and older were less likely than their younger counterparts to test positive for alcohol after crashes that required treatment at a trauma center. However, when older drivers tested positive, their BACs were generally high, well above the illegal per se limit for driving. Moreover, the strong relationship between older drivers’ BAC and poor prior driving records and high crash responsibility highlight the need to consider alcohol as a factors in older drivers’ crashes, and to focus more attention on countermeasures for drinking and driving among those 65 and older.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: 2p
  • Serial:
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01538157
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT HS 812 063
  • Created Date: Sep 11 2014 1:33PM