Alkohol, droger och läkemedel hos omkomna personbilsförare: år 2005–2013

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It is well known that drunk drivers constitute a large traffic safety problem and a number of Swedish studies have been conducted about this group of drivers. Much less is known about drivers that are impaired by drugs or medicines and the aim of this study is to improve the knowledge about the presence of such substances in killed drivers of passenger cars. The study is based on 1143 drivers of passenger cars that were killed in accidents during 2005–2013. Only medicines that include narcotic substances are included since other types of drugs supposedly have very limited influence on the ability to drive. Medical substances were found in 8.3 per cent of the drivers and drugs in 6.1 per cent. In comparison, alcohol was prevalent among 21.8 per cent of the drivers. More than one type of substance (alcohol, drug or medicine) were found in 5.4 per cent of the drivers. The following conclusions can be drawn from the study:

A significant difference was found in the number of drivers who were tested positive for drugs or medicines between those who had a BAC-level over 0.2 ‰ (18.5 %) and those who had a BAC-level of 0 (10.5 %). There were no significant difference with respect to drugs and medicines between drivers with low (0.2–0.6‰) and high BAC-level (≥0.6‰).

  • THC (cannabis) is the most prevalent drug among drivers that are also influenced by alcohol, followed by amphetamine. For drivers that are not influenced by alcohol, amphetamine is more common than THC.
  • Opioids are equally common among drivers who have taken only medicines and drivers who have combined medicines and illegal drugs. Sedatives are instead more common among those who also have taken drugs while it is very uncommon to combine illegal drugs and hypnotics.
  • An analysis of background variables show that drivers who had alcohol or drugs in their blood differ from sober drivers in several respects (age, gender and time of accident) while those who had taken medicines were quite similar to the sober drivers.

The three groups also differ from each other, which makes it important to treat the groups separately in case of for example, countermeasures.

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