Prevalence of alcohol and other drugs in fatally injured drivers
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2012
© 2012 The Authors, Addiction © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 108, Issue 1, pages 104–114, January 2013
How to Cite
Brady, J. E. and Li, G. (2013), Prevalence of alcohol and other drugs in fatally injured drivers. Addiction, 108: 104–114. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03993.x
- Issue published online: 26 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 22 JUN 2012 05:45AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 15 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Received: 10 NOV 2011
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Grant Number: DA029670
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health. Grant Number: AA009963
- alcohol consumption;
- drug users;
- motor vehicles;
- prescription drugs;
This study aims to examine the prevalence of alcohol and/or other drugs (AOD) in a large sample of fatally injured drivers.
Using data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System for 2005–09, the authors examined the prevalence of AOD detected in fatally injured drivers in the United States.
Fatal motor vehicle crashes occurring on public roads.
Drivers who died within 1 hour of the crash in 14 states that performed toxicological testing on more than 80% of these drivers.
The prevalence of AOD and multivariable-adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR).
Of the 20 150 fatally injured drivers studied, 57.3% tested positive for AOD, including 19.9% being positive for two or more substances. Alcohol was the most commonly detected substance, present in 40.2% of the fatally injured drivers, followed by cannabinols (10.5%), stimulants (9.0%), narcotics (5.7%) and depressants (4.0%). Multivariable analysis revealed that AOD was significantly more prevalent among drivers who died in single-vehicle crashes [aPR 1.69, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.62–1.76] or night-time crashes (aPR 1.43, 95% CI: 1.39–1.47), or who had a driving-while-intoxicated conviction within the past 3 years (aPR 1.41, 95% CI: 1.35–1.47), and less prevalent among drivers who were 65 years or older (aPR 0.45, 95% CI: 0.42–0.49), Asian (aPR 0.47, 95% CI 0.41–0.53) or female (aPR 0.88, 95% CI: 0.85–0.91) or who were operating a motor carrier (aPR 0.41, 95% CI 0.34–0.48).
More than half of fatally injured drivers in the United States had been using AOD and approximately 20% had been using polydrugs. The prevalence of AOD use varies significantly with driver and crash characteristics.