An attempt is made to define "safe" and "unsafe" driving, with or without alcohol involvement. The first sample examined consisted of nearly 2000 chronic alcoholics, male and female, drivers and non-drivers, who had been admitted to a Michigan hospital as patients at least once between 15 June 1956 and 1 January 1964, and who had survived until at least 31 December 1965. The following data was used: medical records, including emergency room contact and medications taken; ongoing reports, including evaluation of the progress of each contact, if any, the patient had with the hospital's therapy program for alcoholics; driver records and criminal conviction records, if any, on each patient; and death records for those who died before 1966. Instead of comparing alcoholic to non-alcoholic drivers, subgroups of alcoholics are compared with each other on these variables: the relationship between blood alcohol level and impairment of assorted skills, traffic accidents, and the number and type of traffic offenses. An index of "potential risk on the highway" was developed, which gives drivers a "risk potential" score on the basis of their driving records. The distributions of risk groups into two alcohol-related driving samples, the chronic alcoholics and people arrested for driving under the infleunce of liquor (DUIL), showed some simple comparisons which verified that the index was useful as a "risk categorizer". The hospital sample consisted of hospitalized alcoholics who drive, who proved to include many more low and medium risk drivers than high and extra risk drivers while the DUIL's included a preponderance of high and extra high risk drivers. A direct correlation was found between risk level and other legal offenses, which revealed that the significant factor was not the alcohol level, but rather the individual's personality, as indicated through their life styles. /Author/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the North American Congress on Alcohol and Drug Problem, San Francisco, December 14, 1974.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    Mental Health Research Institute
    Ann Arbor, MI  United States  48109
  • Authors:
    • Clay, M L
  • Publication Date: 1974-12

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 25 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00141705
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Communication #304
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 30 1977 12:00AM