Researchers who study the relationships of the various factors that determine the frequency and distribution of injuries due to accidents are pioneers in the new field of "epidemiology of injury". The models they have developed to help explain injury occurrence involve two factors: (1) the individual's level of performance and (2) the demands of the task being carried out that can lead to injury. Generally, as long as the individual's performance level exceeds the demands of the particular task involved, the "energy source" (the car one drives or plane one pilots) remains under control. The moment the energy source is no longer under control, an accident is likely to happen. Through statistical analysis, personal interviews, and a good deal of detective-style work, the epidemiologist seeks to determine the many factors that are involved in injuries. The goal is to understand why injuries occur and to provide vital information to everyone involved in preventing injuries. Available evidence implicates alcohol consumption as a major risk factor for almost every type of injury. There is also small but growing evidence implicating other drugs in the evolution of accidental injury as well. This article reviews some epidemiologic studies that have been conducted on alcohol and drug involvement in fatal traffic accidents, outlining the assumptions on which they are based and the difficulties encountered.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    US National Inst on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism

    P.O. Box 2345
    Rockville, MD  United States  20852
  • Authors:
    • Dufour, M C
    • Moskowitz, H
  • Publication Date: 1985

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: p. 6-10
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00495703
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-039 554
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1990 12:00AM