ETHANOL AND DIAZEPAM AS CAUSATIVE AGENTS IN ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS

Blood ethanol and plasma diazepam levels were determined in 74 hospitalized accident-involved drivers during 1973 in Oslo, Norway. The results were compared to those from a reference group of 204 drivers, attending routine medical checkups. In the accident group, ethanol alone was detected in 31 (41.8%), diazepam alone in seven (9.4%), and ethanol combined with diazepam in eight (10.8%) drivers. In the reference group the corresponding numbers were three (1.5%) and four (2.0%), none with the combination. Forty (54.1%) of the accident-involved drivers as compared to four (2.0%) of the reference group, had driven with blood ethanol and/or plasma diazepam concentrations assumed sufficiently high to impair driving ability. Six (8.1%) of those had taken diazepam alone, eight (10.8%) diazepam combined with ethanol, and 26 (35.1%) ethanol alone. Both the extent and the degree of intoxication was most pronounced with ethanol, 21 having 150 mg or more/100 g blood. Regular or intermittent use of diazepam and other psychotropic drugs may significantly add to the problem of traffic safety, but ethanol is still the major, and presumably also an underestimated, causative factor in seriour road traffic accidents in Norway. (A)

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 439-448

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00132088
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 1 1976 12:00AM