Prevalence of alcohol, illicit drugs and psychoactive medicines in killed drivers in four European countries

Publisher's full text
Sara-Ann Legrand
Hallvard Gjerde
Cristina Isalberti
Trudy Van der Linden
Pirjo Lillsunde
Mario J. Dias
Susanne Gustafsson
Gunnel Ceder
Alain G. Verstraete

Our objective was to determine the presence of psychoactive substances in blood of drivers killed in road crashes in four European countries. Data from 1118 drivers of car and vans, killed between 2006 and 2009, were collected in Finland, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. The prevalence of any psychoactive substance ranged between 31 and 48%.

Alcohol (>= 0.1 g/L) was the most common finding, 87% had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC)>=.5 g/L. Benzodiazepines (1.8-13.3%) and amphetamines (0-7.4%) were the most prevalent psychoactive medicines and illicit drugs, respectively. Alcohol-drug and drug-drug combinations were rather prevalent. Differences in alcohol/drug findings seemed to reflect differences in use in the countries. More research should be done to develop preventive strategies to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related traffic accidents targeting at-risk groups, such as drivers with very high BACs and novice drivers.



International Conference on Electric Road Systems starts today

Electric Road Systems (ERS) is a relatively new concept with many initiatives on the way. To learn from each other and stimulate new collaborations the Swedish Research and Innovation Platform for Electric Roads arranged the first international conference...


Same survey of road users’ attitudes in 50 countries

At the Road Safety on Five Continents Conference, RS5C, one entire session presented a large survey of road users' attitudes in 38 countries. Results show large differences between countries in many areas, both regarding behavior and attitudes. A new survey...


Good results with alcohol interlock program according to Swedish study

An alcohol interlock program makes it possible for drink driving offenders to continue their everyday lives. In a Swedish study most of the participants were satisfied with the program and experienced improved health. They also reported drinking alcohol more...


Traffic safety in the spotlight

Today the Conference Road Safety on Five Continents (RS5C) opened in Jeju Island, South Korea. More than 220 participators have come from all over the world to present findings and learn about traffic safety. Dr. Young Tae Kim, Secretary-General of the...


VTI will develop simulators for ambulance staff

VTI has initiated a pilot study for paramedics with the Centre for Teaching & Research in Disaster Medicine and Traumatology and Linköping University. The aim is to give ambulance staff the opportunity to practice critical medical tasks in a moving vehicle in...


Unique electrified road opens in Sweden

The world’s first electrified road recharging the batteries of cars and trucks while driving opened in Sweden. The Swedish Minister for Infrastructure, Tomas Eneroth, was at the formal inauguration of the electrified road on April 11, 2018. VTI is one of 22...