Use of multiple data sources to identify specific drugs and other factors associated with drug and alcohol screening of fatally injured motor vehicle drivers

T. Bunn, M. Singleton, I. Chen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Drugged driving crashes have significantly increased over the past two decades. The objectives of this study were to identify and characterize the drugs present in motor vehicle driver fatalities using multiple surveillance data sources; assess concordance of the data sources in identifying drug presence; and identify demographic and crash factors associated with drug and alcohol screening in fatally injured motor vehicle drivers. Methods: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), Collision Report Analysis for Safer Highways (CRASH), and mortality data sets were linked; drug screening and positive drug screens were identified. Chi-square and conditional logistic regression were performed. Results: The use of FARS data identified the majority of positive drug screens in the linked data set. Supplementation of FARS data with death certificate and CRASH data increased identification of specific drugs and drug classes detected among fatally injured motor vehicle drivers, although there was a low concordance among the data sources. Alcohol and depressants such as alprazolam had the highest frequencies among fatally injured drivers. Speeding, lack of occupant restraints, young age, commercial truck drivers, and speeding were all factors associated with increased odds of the fatally injured driver being drug or alcohol screened. Conclusions: These findings indicate that FARS drug information data may be strengthened through increased autopsy and consultation with medical examiners to better understand and interpret decedent toxicology testing results, and that states with low driver drug testing rates should consider mandatory driver drug testing in fatal crashes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-294
Number of pages8
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Volume122
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to the Kentucky State Police for providing the CRASH data, and the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services for providing the death certificate data for this study. We would like to thank Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy C. Slinker, Kentucky State Police, Operations Division Director, and Lieutenant Paul Blanton, Kentucky State Police Criminal ID & Records, for their advice and input on the Kentucky FARS program and drug testing of fatally injured drivers. We would like to thank Dr. William Ralston, Kentucky Chief Medical Examiner, for his advice and input on drug testing of fatally injured drivers and completion of driver death certificates with information on specific drugs. This work was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number lDTNH22-08-H-00302 from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) , Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number 2U60OH008483-14 from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) , and Cooperative Agreement Number 6 NU17CE002732-04 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services or NIOSH or NHTSA.

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to the Kentucky State Police for providing the CRASH data, and the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services for providing the death certificate data for this study. We would like to thank Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy C. Slinker, Kentucky State Police, Operations Division Director, and Lieutenant Paul Blanton, Kentucky State Police Criminal ID & Records, for their advice and input on the Kentucky FARS program and drug testing of fatally injured drivers. We would like to thank Dr. William Ralston, Kentucky Chief Medical Examiner, for his advice and input on drug testing of fatally injured drivers and completion of driver death certificates with information on specific drugs. This work was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number lDTNH22-08-H-00302 from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number 2U60OH008483-14 from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and Cooperative Agreement Number 6 NU17CE002732-04 funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services or NIOSH or NHTSA.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Autopsy
  • Data sources
  • Drivers
  • Drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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