Should we be concerned about alcohol in bicycle crashes?

Haworth, Narelle L. & Schramm, Amy J. (2010) Should we be concerned about alcohol in bicycle crashes? In International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference (T2010), 22 - 26 August 2010, Oslo, Norway.

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This paper sets out to examine from published literature and crash data analyses whether alcohol in bicycle crashes is an issue about which we should be concerned. It discusses factors that have the potential to increase the number of bicycle crashes in which alcohol is involved (such growth in the size and diversity of the cyclist population, and balance and coordination demands) and factors which may reduce the importance of alcohol in bicycle crashes (such as time of data factors and child riders). It also examines data availability issues that contribute to difficulties in determining the true magnitude of the issue. Methods: This paper reviews previous research and reports analyses of data from Queensland, Australia, that examine the role of alcohol in Police-reported road crashes. In Queensland it is an offence to ride a bicycle or drive a motor vehicle with a BAC exceeding 0.05% (or lower for novice and professional drivers). Results: In the five years 2003-2007, alcohol was reported as involved in 165 bicycle crashes (4%). The bicycle rider was coded as “under the influence” or “over the prescribed BAC limit” in 15 were single unit crashes (12%). In multi-vehicle bicycle crashes, alcohol involvement was reported for 16 cyclists (0.4%) and 110 operators of other vehicles (3%). Additional analyses including characteristics of the cyclist crashes involving alcohol and the importance of missing data will be discussed in the paper. Conclusion: The increase in participation in cycling and the vulnerability of cyclists to injuries support the need to examine the role of alcohol in bicycle crashes. Current data suggest that alcohol on the part of the vehicle driver is a larger concern than alcohol on the part of the cyclist, but improvements in data collection are needed before more precise conclusions can be drawn.

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ID Code: 40073
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: bicycle crashes
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Narelle L. Haworth & Amy J. Schramm
Deposited On: 14 Feb 2011 22:13
Last Modified: 31 May 2011 14:59

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