Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mandatory Alcohol Testing For Truck And Bus Drivers Reduces Alcohol Involvement In Fatal Crashes

Date:
September 14, 2009
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
Mandatory alcohol testing programs for truck and bus drivers have contributed to a significant reduction in alcohol involvement in fatal crashes. Based on a study sample of nearly 70,000 motor carrier (heavy trucks and buses) drivers and over 83,000 non-motor-carrier (car) drivers, the estimated net effect of these programs was a 23 percent reduced risk of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes.

Mandatory alcohol testing programs for truck and bus drivers have contributed to a significant reduction in alcohol involvement in fatal crashes, according to a new study by researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Based on a study sample of nearly 70,000 motor carrier (heavy trucks and buses) drivers and over 83,000 non–motor-carrier (car) drivers, the estimated net effect attributed to the mandatory alcohol testing programs for drivers of heavy trucks and buses was a 23% reduced risk of alcohol involvement in fatal crashes. This is the first study to comprehensively evaluate the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, which made alcohol testing mandatory for transportation employees with safety sensitive functions.

Findings from the study are published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

In the U.S., there are approximately 4,000 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks and buses each year, and nearly 80% of these fatal crashes are collisions between a motor carrier and a passenger car. About 3% of the motor carrier drivers and 27% of non-motor-carrier drivers in these fatal crashes are under the influence of alcohol.

"The mandatory alcohol testing programs for transportation employees with safety-sensitive functions are a major policy intervention," says Guohua Li, MD, DrPH, professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health and professor of Anesthesiological Sciences at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and senior author. "However, this policy remains a controversial one, because of legal and ethical concerns and little empirical data about its safety benefit. Our study provides compelling evidence that implementation of the mandatory alcohol testing programs has significantly reduced alcohol involvement in fatal motor carrier crashes."

The authors also report that the estimated safety benefit of the mandatory alcohol testing programs is consistent across age groups and between sexes. Moreover, implementation of these programs has reduced alcohol involvement by motor carrier drivers in daytime and nighttime fatal crashes to a similar degree.

Free cross-border trade by motor carriers is a major component of the North America Free Trade Agreement but has been hindered by issues around safety. One of the differences in regulations is mandatory drug and alcohol testing, which is required of drivers in the U.S. but not in Canada and Mexico. According to Mailman School of Public Health's Joanne Brady, SM, lead author, "results from this new study suggest that implementation of the mandatory alcohol testing programs in the U.S. has substantially reduced alcohol-impaired driving by motor carrier drivers and that Canada and Mexico may improve their safety records by adopting this policy."

Study co-authors include Charles DiMaggio, PhD, of the Mailman School; and Susan Baker, Melissa McCarthy, and George Rebok, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The work was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Mandatory Alcohol Testing For Truck And Bus Drivers Reduces Alcohol Involvement In Fatal Crashes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090911114304.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2009, September 14). Mandatory Alcohol Testing For Truck And Bus Drivers Reduces Alcohol Involvement In Fatal Crashes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090911114304.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Mandatory Alcohol Testing For Truck And Bus Drivers Reduces Alcohol Involvement In Fatal Crashes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090911114304.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins