Apart from alcohol, various other substances with a psychotropic effect have been discussed recently in relation to their association with road traffic safety. There has been a general lack of hard facts, however, on how much drug use and abuse influence this. In the absence of data on the frequency of such effects, a representative random sample (approximately 8000 persons) of the Austrian population was interviewed and questioned on their drug intake. A smaller sample (2007 persons) was also questioned as to their behaviour regarding road traffic participation. The results showed that those drugs taken most frequently belong to the 'analgesic' group, whilst the frequency in use of substances to which greater importance is attached currently regarding road safety is relatively low (tranquillizers by 4 percent; strictly 'psychotropic' drugs by 0.3 percent to 0.6 percent of the population). These findings are similar to those reported in English-speaking countries. Data analysis showed that socio-cultural factors (age, sex, marital status and profession) influence the frequency and type of drug intake. The definition of drug abuse and addiction used (increase of dosage, inappropriate use, effect changes) proved somewhat unreliable and called into question the criteria used for diagnosis and categorization of persons at risk. In view of the results of previous studies and the importance attached by critics, an unexpected finding of this survey was the minor influence exerted by tranquillizers on road traffic safety. However, the number of cases for individual drug classes was relatively small and there is a need for more broadly based studies of a similar design before reaching firm conclusions. (Author/TRRL)

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Clayton-Wray Publications Limited

    1A High Street
    Alton, Hampshire,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Lesch, O M
    • Lenter, S
    • Mader, R
    • Musalek, M
    • Nimmerrichter, A
    • Walter, H
  • Publication Date: 1989

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 338-354
  • Serial:
    • Pharmatherapeutica
    • Volume: 5
    • Issue Number: 5
    • Publisher: Clayton-Wray Publications Limited
    • ISSN: 0308-051X

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00619975
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 31 1992 12:00AM