Temporal Patterns of Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol-Related Road Accidents in Young Swiss Men: Seasonal, Weekday and Public Holiday Effects

Alcohol Alcohol. 2015 Sep;50(5):565-72. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agv037. Epub 2015 Apr 22.


Aims: To assess seasonal, weekday, and public holiday effects on alcohol-related road accidents and drinking diaries among young Swiss men.

Methods: Federal road accident data (35,485 accidents) from Switzerland and drinking diary data from a large cohort of young Swiss men (11,930 subjects) were analysed for temporal effects by calendar week, weekday and public holiday (Christmas, New Years, National Day). Alcohol-related accidents were analysed using rate ratios for observed versus expected numbers of accidents and proportions of alcohol-related accidents relative to the total number. Drinking diaries were analysed for the proportion of drinkers, median number of drinks consumed, and the 90th percentile's number of drinks consumed.

Results: Several parallel peaks were identified in alcohol-related accidents and drinking diaries. These included increases on Fridays and Saturdays, with Saturday drinking extending until early Sunday morning, an increase during the summer on workdays but not weekends, an increase at the end of the year, and increases on public holidays and the evening before.

Conclusions: Our results suggest specific time-windows that are associated with increases in drinking and alcohol-related harm. Established prevention measures should be enforced during these time-windows to reduce associated peaks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / psychology
  • Accidents, Traffic / trends*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcohol Drinking / trends*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / diagnosis
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Holidays* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Seasons*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult