The significance of alcohol, drugs and diseases as isolated or combined causes of traffic accidents appear to be underestimated. The paper reports the results of medico-legal and chemical examinations of 168 unprotected victims of fatal traffic accidents. Children, passengers and victims treated in hospitals were excluded. The cases had been selected by the police from juridical points of view. The age distribution and the distribution by type of traffic are indicated in the Figs. I and II which also show the relative occurrence of alcohol, drugs and diseases within the groups. Among the drugs barbiturates were found most often, with other sedatives and psychopharmaca on the 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. On the basis of all information available, including police reports, the authors have evaluated the significance of alcohol, drugs and diseases as causes of the accidents (Tables 4, 6 and 8). In most cases with a positive BAC, especially in young men, the alcohol intoxication could be considered the cause of the accident, whereas this was more rarely the case when drugs were demonstrated. Diseases were less often than alcohol, but more often than drugs considered the likely cause of the accidents, mostly in elderly road users. (Authors)

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 24-31

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00331210
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1981 12:00AM