The Contribution of Alcohol to Work-Related Road Crashes in New South Wales
About 30% of cars in Australia are used by businesses and about 60% of new upper medium size cars are sold to businesses. Work-related travel accounts for about one-third of all travel (more than half if commuting is included). Given these figures, it is not surprising that road crashes are the most common form of work-related death in Australia. Work-related crashes account for 6% of all road fatalities, rising to 7% if commuting deaths are included. Illegal levels of alcohol (exceeding 0.05%) are commonly found in about one-fifth to one-quarter of all drivers killed in road crashes in Australia. Yet little is known about the contribution of alcohol to work-related road crashes. The ability of crash data analyses to answer this question depends on being able to identify work-related driving and being able to identify the level of alcohol present. Both issues present problems.
This paper reports completed analyses of a dataset produced by the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority that allows fleet-registered vehicles in crashes to be identified. The analyses examine the involvement of alcohol in these crashes and the potential influences of the temporal patterns of driving, vehicle characteristics and driver characteristics.