Alcohol behind most accidents: PGI study

Alcohol clubbed with the tendency to break traffic rules is increasingly causing accidents on city roads,according to a survey by the PGI’s Department of Orthopaedics.

Written by Express News Service | Ludhiana | Published: July 4, 2009 3:14 am

Alcohol clubbed with the tendency to break traffic rules is increasingly causing accidents on city roads,according to a survey by the PGI’s Department of Orthopaedics.

The survey reveals that 58 per cent of the accident victims admitted in the ortho-emergency with serious injuries were driving under the influence of alcohol.

Also,despite tall claims of the police that they employ stringent measures to check traffic violations,a whopping 73 per cent of these victims were not wearing protective equipment like helmets and seat belts at the time of accident. The survey further points out that 56 per cent of these victims did not have a valid driving licence.

“Interestingly,86 per cent of the victims admitted that they were aware of the fact that driving under the influence of alcohol is not permitted under law. The present study reflects that despite stringent measures by police and public awareness campaigns,driving without protective equipment,under the influence of alcohol and without a valid driving licence still play a major role in road accidents,” head of PGI orthopaedic department Dr M S Dhillon,who supervised the survey with senior tutor Sukhpal Kaur,said.

The survey was conducted as part of the BSc curriculum on 100 patients admitted in the emergency ward. In the survey compiled by Ashima Aggarwal,patients were selected randomly to analyse their demographic profiles.

“Our findings have raised pertinent social questions,which need to be seriously dealt with by the Administration. In most cases,patients themselves admitted they were under the influence of alcohol and were not wearing protective equipment like helmets or seat belts. All these accidents took place in and around Chandigarh,” Dr Dhillon said,adding that the department now plans to undertake a bigger study on this subject.

A little more than half (51 per cent) of these accidents took place during the evening hours between 3 to 8 pm and 30 per cent on Saturday. Traffic rush on Saturdays is a plausible reason behind this,doctors said.

As many as 68 per cent of the accident victims were driving a two-wheeler and 86 per cent were male. Majority of the victims are in their productive years,with more than half of them (59 per cent) in the age group of 20 to 40 years,the study reveals.

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