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  • 1.
    Valen, Anja
    et al.
    University of Oslo.
    Bogstrand, Stig Tore
    Oslo University Hospital.
    Vindenes, Vigdis
    Oslo University Hospital.
    Frost, Joachim
    St. Olav University Hospital.
    Larsson, Magnus
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Traffic and road users, Traffic Safety and Traffic System.
    Holtan, Anders
    Oslo University Hospital.
    Gjerde, Hallvard
    Oslo University Hospital.
    Driver-related risk factors of fatal road traffic crashes associated with alcohol or drug impairment2019In: Accident Analysis and Prevention, ISSN 0001-4575, E-ISSN 1879-2057, Vol. 131, p. 191-199Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Fatal road traffic crashes are often related to speeding, non-use of a seatbelt, and alcohol/drug-impaired driving. The aim of this study was to examine associations between driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and driver-related risk factors that have been reported as significantly contributing causes of fatal road traffic crashes. The data were extracted from Norwegian road traffic crash registries and forensic toxicology databases. Drug/alcohol investigated car and van drivers and motorcycle riders fatally injured in road traffic crashes in Norway during 2005–2015 were included in this study (n = 772). Drug and alcohol concentrations corresponding to 0.5 g/kg alcohol in blood were used as the lower limits for categorising drivers/riders as impaired; 0.2 g/kg was the upper limit for being categorised as sober. Associations between driver-related risk factors and impairment from specific substance groups were calculated using multivariable logistic regression, adjusted for other substance groups, age, and sex, and were reported when the confidence intervals did not contain the value 1 or lower. Substances found in concentrations above the impairment limits were mainly alcohol (20%), medicinal drugs (10%: benzodiazepines, opioids, z-hypnotics), stimulants (5%: amphetamines, methylphenidate, and cocaine), and cannabis (4%: THC). The drug/alcohol-impaired drivers had compared to the sober drivers more often been speeding (68% versus 32%), not used a seatbelt (69% versus 30%), and been driving without a valid driver license (26% versus 1%). Logistic regression analysis showed that impairment from alcohol or stimulants (mainly amphetamines) was associated with all three risk factors, medicinal drugs with all except speeding, and impairment from cannabis (THC) with not having a valid driver license. Among motorcycle riders, drug/alcohol impairment was associated with not having a valid driver license and non-use of a helmet. At least one of the risk factors speeding, non-use of a seatbelt/helmet, and driving without a valid license were present among the vast majority of the drug/alcohol-impaired fatally injured drivers and riders, and also among more than half of the fatally injured sober drivers.

  • 2.
    Valen, Anja
    et al.
    Oslo University Hospital.
    Bogstrand, Stig Tore
    Oslo University Hospital.
    Vindenes, Vigdis
    Oslo University Hospital.
    Frost, Joachim
    St. Olav University Hospital.
    Larsson, Magnus
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Traffic and road users, Traffic Safety and Traffic System.
    Holtan, Anders
    Gjerde, Hallvard
    Oslo University Hospital.
    Fatally injured drivers in Norway 2005–2015: Trends in substance use and crash characteristics2019In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 20, no 5, p. 460-466Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: Norway introduced a “Vision Zero” strategy in 2001, using multiple approaches, aiming toward a future in which no one will be killed or seriously injured in road traffic crashes (RTCs). Official statistics show that the number of fatally injured road users has declined substantially from 341 deaths in 2000 to 117 in 2015. In-depth crash investigations of all fatal RTCs started in Norway in 2005. The aim of this study was to investigate whether fatal crash characteristics, vehicle safety features, and prevalence of drugs and/or alcohol among fatally injured drivers and riders has changed during 2005–2015, accompanying the reduction in road fatalities.

    Methods: Data on all car/van drivers and motorcycle/moped riders fatally injured in RTCs during 2005–2015 were extracted from Norwegian road traffic crash registries and combined with forensic toxicology data.

    Results: The proportion of cars and motorcycles with antilock braking systems and cars with electronic stability control, increased significantly during the study period. The prevalence of nonuse of seat belts/helmets and speeding declined among both fatally injured drivers and riders. In addition, the prevalence of alcohol declined, though no significant change in the total prevalence of other substances was noted.

    Conclusion: The observed changes toward more safety installations in cars and motorcycles and lower prevalence of driver-related risk factors like alcohol use, speeding, and nonuse of seat belts/helmets among fatally injured drivers/riders may have contributed to the decrease in road traffic deaths.

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