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Drugs, alcohol and road accidents in Tasmania


McLean, S and Parsons, RS and Chesterman, RB and Dineen, R and Johnson, MG and Davies, NW, Drugs, alcohol and road accidents in Tasmania, Medical Journal of Australia, 147, (1) pp. 6-11. ISSN 0025-729X (1987) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.5694/j.1326-5377.1987.tb133226.x


Drug analyses were performed on 200 blood samples that were taken for alcohol analysis from road users in Tasmania. Alcohol at a concentration of above 0.5 g was found in 75% of the samples, and other drugs were found in 17% of the samples. Cannabis was the most prevalent of these other drugs: it was detected in 6% of road users; benzodiazepine drugs were detected in 5% of road users; and barbiturate drugs were detected in 2% of road users. Alcohol was found in 50% and other drugs were found in 25%, of drivers, riders and pedestrians who were involved in road accidents that were serious enough to cause death or injury. In addition to alcohol, other drugs may be making a significant contribution to road accidents because all the drugs that were identified are capable of impairing psychomotor performance. Of particular concern is the prevalence of cannabis, which is an illegal drug, and barbiturate drugs, which are now prescribed rarely. A well-controlled study is required to quantitate the contribution of drugs other than alcohol to road accidents. In the meantime, drivers should be warned that drugs that depress the central nervous system can be expected to impair driving ability and to increase the risk of an accident.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:McLean, S (Professor Stuart McLean)
UTAS Author:Parsons, RS (Dr Parsons)
UTAS Author:Chesterman, RB (Mr Robert Chesterman)
UTAS Author:Davies, NW (Associate Professor Noel Davies)
ID Code:102177
Year Published:1987
Web of Science® Times Cited:22
Deposited By:Central Science Laboratory
Deposited On:2015-08-03
Last Modified:2015-08-04

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