Drinking patterns and traffic casualties in Switzerland: matching survey data and police records to design preventive action

Public Health. 2005 May;119(5):426-36. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2004.07.009.


Objective: To examine the association between drinking patterns and alcohol-related traffic casualties.

Study design: Data linkage of cross-sectional survey data on alcohol consumption with official traffic casualty records.

Methods: Alcohol consumption measures for usual heavy drinking and risky single occasion drinking were derived for different time segments of the day from a 7-day drinking diary study of 747 current drinkers. Measures were correlated with official records of alcohol-related traffic casualties.

Results: There was a high correlation between alcohol-related traffic casualties and the number of risky single occasion drinkers that consumed alcohol outside their homes (r=0.92). On average, about 50% of these drinking occasions were attributed to usual moderate drinkers. The proportion of usual heavy drinkers was lowest in the time segments with the most alcohol-related casualties.

Conclusion: Preventive countermeasures should be targeted at the general population, enforced particularly during specific periods of the week.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control
  • Causality
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Police
  • Public Health Informatics
  • Risk-Taking
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Time Factors