According to the World Health Organization, as many as 25% of traffic accidents are linked to alcohol abuse. This study describes the results of a nine-year study performed on injured drivers (N=12,806) in the Verona area of Northern Italy. Blood samples were mandatorily collected on injured drivers who were admitted to the Emergency Health Care Unit of Verona Hospital between 2009 and 2017, after they had been involved in a traffic accident. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) determination was then undertaken using a validated head space-gas chromatography-flame ionisation detector (HS-GC-FID) method. We found that 21% of drivers tested positive for alcohol (BAC ≥0.01g/L), while 16.8% presented with BAC levels above the Italian legal limit (>0.5g/L). Of those who had positive BACs, about 50% presented with very high BAC levels (>1.5g/L). Daily time distribution analyses, involving 2031 alcohol-positive drivers, showed a surge between 18:00 hours and 06:00 hours (74.3%), with a specific rise during the weekend (58.9%). The percentage of alcohol-related road accidents was 20.6%, which is lower than results reported in other international studies performed over the last 20 years. However, evidence that around 50% of the positive subjects showed a BAC >1.5g/L confirms the correlation between BAC and accident risk, which becomes even more significant at progressively increasing levels of BAC. The study highlights the need to implement further strategies to both prevent and deter the use of alcohol while driving.

Alcohol-associated traffic injuries in Verona territory: A nine-year survey

Musile, Giacomo;Pigaiani, Nicola;Sorio, Daniela;Colombari, Michela;Bortolotti, Federica;Tagliaro, Franco
2021-01-01

Abstract

According to the World Health Organization, as many as 25% of traffic accidents are linked to alcohol abuse. This study describes the results of a nine-year study performed on injured drivers (N=12,806) in the Verona area of Northern Italy. Blood samples were mandatorily collected on injured drivers who were admitted to the Emergency Health Care Unit of Verona Hospital between 2009 and 2017, after they had been involved in a traffic accident. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) determination was then undertaken using a validated head space-gas chromatography-flame ionisation detector (HS-GC-FID) method. We found that 21% of drivers tested positive for alcohol (BAC ≥0.01g/L), while 16.8% presented with BAC levels above the Italian legal limit (>0.5g/L). Of those who had positive BACs, about 50% presented with very high BAC levels (>1.5g/L). Daily time distribution analyses, involving 2031 alcohol-positive drivers, showed a surge between 18:00 hours and 06:00 hours (74.3%), with a specific rise during the weekend (58.9%). The percentage of alcohol-related road accidents was 20.6%, which is lower than results reported in other international studies performed over the last 20 years. However, evidence that around 50% of the positive subjects showed a BAC >1.5g/L confirms the correlation between BAC and accident risk, which becomes even more significant at progressively increasing levels of BAC. The study highlights the need to implement further strategies to both prevent and deter the use of alcohol while driving.
Alcohol-related accidents, alcohol-related crash risk, alcohol-related injuries, blood alcohol concentration (BAC), drunk driving
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1037030
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