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 July 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 July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) 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:
from the past week

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