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Evaluating the effect of drunk driving on fatal injuries among vulnerable road users in Taiwan: a population-based study

Lin, Hui-An; Chan, Cheng-Wei; Wiratama, Bayu Satria; Chen, Ping-Ling; Wang, Ming-Heng; Chao, Chung-Jen; Saleh, Wafaa; Huang, Hung-Chang; Pai, Chih-Wei


Hui-An Lin

Cheng-Wei Chan

Bayu Satria Wiratama

Ping-Ling Chen

Ming-Heng Wang

Chung-Jen Chao

Hung-Chang Huang

Chih-Wei Pai


Background: Most studies have focused on injuries sustained by intoxicated drivers themselves, but few have examined the effect of drunk driving on injury outcomes among VRUs (vulnerable road users) in developing countries. This study aims to evaluate the effect of drunk driving on fatal injuries among VRUs (pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcyclists). Methods: The data were extracted from the National Taiwan Traffic Crash Dataset from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2019. Crashes involving one motorized vehicle and one VRU were considered. This study examines the effect of drunk driving by estimating multivariate logistic regression models of fatal injuries among VRUs after controlling for other variables. Results: Among 1,416,168 casualties, the fatality rate of VRUs involved in drunk driving was higher than that of general road users (2.1% vs. 0.6%). Drunk driving was a significant risk factor for fatal injuries among VRUs. Other risk factors for fatal injuries among VRUs included VRU age ≥ 65 years (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 5.24, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.53–6.07), a nighttime accident (AOR: 4.52, 95% CI: 4.22–4.84), and being hit by a heavy-duty vehicle (AOR: 2.83, 95% CI: 2.26–3.55). Subgroup analyses revealed a linear relationship between driver blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and the risk of fatal injury among motorcyclists. Motorcyclists exhibited the highest fatality rate when they had a BAC ≤ 0.03% (AOR: 3.54, 95% CI: 3.08–4.08). Conclusion: Drunk driving was associated with a higher risk of fatality for all VRUs. The risk of fatal injury among motorcyclists was linearly related to the BAC of the drunk drivers. Injuries were more severe for intoxicated motorcyclists, even those with BAC ≤ 0.03%, which is within the legal limit.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 19, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 10, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Nov 22, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 22, 2022
Journal BMC Public Health
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 1
Article Number 2059
Keywords Drunk driving, Blood alcohol concentration, Fatal injury, Vulnerable road user
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Evaluating the effect of drunk driving on fatal injuries among vulnerable road users in Taiwan: a population-based study (862 Kb)

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Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

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