Alcohol-related road traffic accidents before and after the passing of the Road Traffic Safety Act in Croatia
Missoni, E.; Bozić, B.; Missoni, I.
Collegium Antropologicum 36(4): 1483-1489
ISSN/ISBN: 0350-6134 PMID: 23390856 Accession: 051427784
The aim of this study was to gather enough data in order to formulate theory- and research-based recommendations to policy makers with the intention of decreasing the number of alcohol-related accidents and victims on Croatian roads. The data on the injured traffic participants and the share of participants under the influence of alcohol were collected from the police reports of the Traffic Police Department, Ministry of the Interior, written at the scene of the respective accidents. This documentation was then processed by descriptive epidemiology and analysed through a four-year period, before and after the passing of the New Road Traffic Safety Act in the Republic of Croatia, on 20 August 2004. In the first six months of 2005, after the passing of the Act, there were 3,275 accidents caused by the motorists under the influence of alcohol (12.5% of all the accidents), with 64 persons killed. Only 5 fatalities (8%) were caused by the drivers with measured blood alcohol concentration of up to 0.5 per thousand. As much as 27 fatalities (42%) were caused by the drivers with measured more than 1.5 per thousand, while half of the fatalities, 32 (50%), were caused by drivers with 0.5-1.5 per thousand. In this period, more than 451,000 violations were recorded, whereas in the same period of the previous year, the number of violations was about 519,000. A reduction of the total number of accidents is the result of the new regulation provision, according to which the incidents without human victims do not have to be reported to the police. The number of traffic accidents caused by drivers under the influence of alcohol had increased by some dozen per cents, namely: 2005 - 6,219 persons, 2006- 6,590 persons, noting that in 2006 one less person was killed (123) compared to 2005. In 2005, drivers with alcohol concentration of 0-0.5 per thousand caused 1,096 accidents, with 14 fatalities, whereas in 2006 there were 1,164 accidents with 9 fatalities. A total of 2,314 accidents were caused by drivers with more than 0.5 per thousand and up to 1.5 per thousand in 2005 (in 2006 - 2,582), along with 53 fatalities (1 fewer than in 2006). Drivers with more than 1.5 per thousand participated in 2,809 accidents (2006 - 2,844), with the number of killed drivers amounting to 57, three fewer than in 2006. In light of these facts, alcohol use still remains a significant factor in road traffic accidents and is an important area for injury prevention efforts.