ALCOHOL, MRIJUANA AND OTHER DRUG PATTERNS AMONG OPERATORS INVOLVED IN FATAL MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS

During the past 30 months the Boston research team has investigated 300 motor vehicles accidents involving a personal fatality in the greater metropolitan area with the principle focus of attention being upon the historica and focal human factor variables associated with the operator of the vehicle judged to have been "most responsible" for the crash. Both decreased and surviving operators were investigated. Some of the significant results for 267 of these operators were discussed. These results have shown that 139 (52%) of the "most responsible" operators were known to have been under the influence of some drug at the time of the focal collision. The overlapping drug categories have included: 122 (46%) of the operators influenced to some degree by alcohol, 43 (16%) of the operators known to have been smoking marijuana and another 22 (8%) who had been using some street or pharmaceutical drug. The operators known to have been using some combination of these drugs included 43 (16%) of these subjects under consideration. The findings show that the drinking operator likely to become involved in a fatal crash as the "most responsible" operator can be identified in advance. If this is the case, the primary questions facing interested officials today are: How can he be drawn from the general population? How can he be re-oriented in his life style so that his potential element of risk can be substantially reduced? It is the opinion of the Boston team that this very particular task should not be delegated to law enforcement officials but rather given over to psycho-social professionals whose research and clinical skills have prepared them for such an effort. Apprehension and prosecution after the fact do not appear to be the means of controlling highway carnage. Instead the potentially risky motor vehicle operator should be sought out, re-educated and, if necessary, rehabilitated as quickly as he can be identified. /Author/

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: p. 93-105

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00132145
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Proceeding
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Nov 23 1977 12:00AM