Link between alcohol crashes and alcohol outlets

Motor vehicle crashes are more likely to be alcohol-related if they are further away from on-premise alcohol outlets including bars and pubs, new research by the Curtin-Monash Accident Research Centre (C-MARC) shows.

The research, titled ‘Alcohol availability and road crashes in Perth: how does distance affect the relationship?’, found a link between the presence of alcohol outlets and alcohol-related road crashes, with a crash more likely to involve alcohol as the distance to on-premise alcohol outlets increased.

The paper is among nine projects undertaken by researchers at C-MARC that will be presented at the 2017 Australasian Road Safety Conference in Perth from October 10 to 12 2017.

Lead author Dr Michelle Hobday, a Research Fellow at C-MARC, said the research, funded by the Road Safety Commission, offered important information for enforcement in preventing alcohol-related road crashes.

“This research shows that road crashes are more likely to be alcohol-related as the distance to the closest on-premise alcohol outlets, including bottle shops, pubs and bars, increased,” Dr Hobday said.

“That result suggests that police enforcement, including random breath testing, should take place closer to residential areas, particularly in the early hours of the morning, as well as near areas containing large numbers of alcohol outlets.”

C-MARC Director Professor Lynn Meuleners said the 2017 Australasian Road Safety Conference offered a valuable opportunity to consider the latest research into road safety measures at the largest road safety-dedicated conference in the Southern Hemisphere.

2017’s theme is ‘Expanding our Horizons’ with a focus on research and policy issues relating to road safety management, infrastructure, safe vehicles, user behaviour and post-crash care.

“More than 600 road safety experts and advocates from around the globe are meeting to share the latest in road safety research at the 2017 Australasian Road Safety Conference,” Professor Meuleners said.

“More than 200 papers and 11 symposia will be presented by a variety of experts, who will share ideas about best practice in terms of evidence-based results, as well as the best way to move forward with renewed ideas, programs, energy and optimism to reduce serious injury from motor vehicle crashes.”

Source: Curtin University

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