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J Stud Alcohol. 2000 May;61(3):387-95.

Alcohol-related relative risk of driver fatalities and driver involvement in fatal crashes in relation to driver age and gender: an update using 1996 data.

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Westat Inc., Rockville, Maryland 20850, USA.



To re-examine and refine estimates for alcohol-related relative risk of driver involvement in fatal crashes by age and gender as a function of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) using recent data.


Logistic regression was used to estimate age/gender specific relative risk of fatal crash involvement as a function of the BAC for drivers involved in a fatal crash and for drivers fatally injured in a crash, by combining crash data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System with exposure data from the 1996 National Roadside Survey of Drivers.


In general, the relative risk of involvement in a fatal vehicle crash increased steadily with increasing driver BAC in every age/gender group among both fatally injured and surviving drivers. Among 16-20 year old male drivers, a BAC increase of 0.02% was estimated to more than double the relative risk of fatal single-vehicle crash injury. At the midpoint of the 0.08% - 0.10% BAC range, the relative risk of a fatal single-vehicle crash injury varied between 11.4 (drivers 35 and older) and 51.9 (male drivers, 16-20). With only very few exceptions, older drivers had lower risk of being fatally injured in a single-vehicle crash than younger drivers, as did women compared with men in the same age range. When comparable, results largely confirmed existing prior estimates.


This is the first study that systematically estimated relative risk for drink-drivers with BACs between 0.08% and 0.10% (these relative risk estimates apply to BAC range midpoints at 0.09%.) The results clearly show that drivers with a BAC under 0.10% pose highly elevated risk both to themselves and to other road users. 2000)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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