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Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot. 2007 Sep;14(3):163-70.

Road traffic mortality in Estonia: alcohol as the main contributing factor.

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Department of Public Health, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.


Traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death among the young and middle-aged population in Estonia. The objective of this study was to reveal the pattern of traffic fatalities among the population aged 15 - 64 years and to determine the role of alcohol in their fatalities. The data were collected from post-mortem reports at the Estonian Bureau of Forensic Medicine from 2000 to 2002. Alcohol-related deaths were those with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) equal or above 0.05 g/100 ml. Out of 512 victims, 401 were males and 111 were females. The greatest group were car occupants (58%) followed by pedestrians (31%). The portion of alcohol-related deaths was 70% among men and 44% among women. The mean BAC and percentage of alcohol-related deaths was significantly higher in pedestrian than in driver fatalities. Alcohol intoxication was identified as the most powerful contributing factor to traffic fatalities. The results provide more evidence for politicians to tackle alcohol abuse and unsafe traffic environments.

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