|Recent research suggests a link between pedestrian casualties and the consumption of alcohol. The Scottish Office commissioned research to investigate the relationship between pedestrian casualties and alcohol consumption in Scotland. The study involved the collection of data by hospital staff on all road accident casualties attending Accident and Emergency departments in 5 large Scottish hospitals in 1996/97. In total 1,115 casualty records were collected of which 145 were pedestrian casualties.|
- Of all road traffic casualties, 9% had evidence of alcohol consumption. This rises markedly amongst pedestrians where nearly a third (31%) of all pedestrian casualties had consumed alcohol.
- When drink is a factor in a pedestrian accident, male pedestrians are more likely to be involved than female pedestrians, with 87% of pedestrian casualties who have consumed alcohol being male.
- Whilst there is a greater likelihood of being involved in an accident as a pedestrian if under 30, alcohol does not appear to be a contributing factor.
- Pedestrians in the 40-49 age group show an increased risk of being involved in an accident if alcohol is involved.
- Of all casualties, there was a greater likelihood of being admitted to hospital if alcohol was involved.
- A greater level of admissions to hospitals was evident amongst pedestrians who had been drinking, being more than twice as likely to be admitted than those who had not been drinking.
- Where alcohol was a factor, pedestrian casualties were more likely in the evening and early hours of the morning with Saturdays being a peak time for alcohol related casualties.
|Road accident statistics and recent research have suggested that there may be a link between pedestrian accidents and the consumption of alcohol. It is in this context that The Scottish Office commissioned Carole Millar Research to undertake a study to investigate the relationship between pedestrian accidents and alcohol consumption in Scotland.|
|More specifically the research aimed to |
- Establish the main groups of pedestrian casualty affected by alcohol.
- Establish the time of day and day of the week, when a pedestrian casualty is most likely to be involved in an accident.
- Compare the number and type of pedestrian road casualty with other road casualties.
- Compare the proportion of pedestrian casualties affected by alcohol with the proportion of all road casualties affected by alcohol.
|Accident and emergency departments of 5 major Scottish hospitals collected data relating to casualties presenting as a result of a road traffic accident between October 1996 and April 1997. All casualties were asked for their agreement to participate in the study by providing a breath sample allowing a measurement of alcohol consumption to be made. Where a breath sample was not possible for health or other reasons, a subjective indication of whether alcohol had been consumed was made. Information was also collected on the type of casualty, age, sex, day of week, date and seriousness of injury as defined by whether the casualty was admitted to hospital, discharged or discharged but followed up in some way.|
|Pedestrian casualties only were linked to police records where possible to yield further information on the circumstances of the accident.|
|In total 1,115 casualty records were collected, of which 145 were pedestrian casualties.|
|Evidence of alcohol by type of casualty|
|Pedestrian casualties were significantly more likely to have consumed alcohol than any other of the casualty groups. Nearly a third (31%) of all pedestrian casualties had consumed alcohol prior to their accident compared to 5% of drivers and 9% of car passengers.|
|Proportion showing evidence of alcohol by type of casualty|
|Road traffic accidents in general are more likely to involve male than female pedestrians (57% compared to 43%). Where there is evidence of alcohol consumption, this gender difference becomes even more marked with 87% of pedestrian casualties who have consumed alcohol being male.|
|Of all male pedestrian casualties, nearly half (48%) had consumed alcohol compared to only one in ten female pedestrian casualties.|
|Figure 2 |
Proportion showing evidence of alcohol by gender
|Significantly there was a more even split amongst those casualties who had not consumed alcohol (52% male compared to 48% female).|
|As a pedestrian, risk is highest for the younger group under the age of 30. The study suggests however that alcohol is not an influencing factor, with accident rates being higher in the non-drinking group than those who had been drinking.|
|When alcohol is added to the equation, pedestrians in the 40-49 show an increased risk of accident. Of all pedestrian casualties in the 40-49 age group, over half had consumed alcohol.|
|Figure 3 |
Proportion showing evidence of alchol by age
|Seriousness of Injury|
|Alcohol also increased the likelihood of the injury sustained being serious enough to require admission to hospital by two or three times. Overall, casualties who had consumed alcohol were much more likely to be admitted to hospital than those casualties who had not been drinking (29% compared to 9%).|
|This rose to 49% of pedestrians who had been drinking requiring admission to hospital compared to 20% who had not been drinking.|
|Table 1 |
Seriousness of injury by whether alcohol consumed