Drink-driving is the second leading cause of death on the roads, after speed.
Unless otherwise specified in the studies presented, a driver is characterized as "alcoholic" iftheir BAC level exceeds the most common legal limit, namely a level of 0.5 g/l or more of blood. Young adults (18-24 years old and 25-34 years old), drivers or pedestrians, are more likely to be under the influence of alcohol when they are presumed responsible for fatal accidents than other age groups. 80 % of those killed in accidents involving an alcoholic driver are either the driver himself or a passenger in his vehicle.
Among alcoholic drivers, 30 % of those killed, who are informed about seatbelt use, weren't wearing a seatbelt (21% for non alcoholic drivers). In addition, the consumption of alcohol by a pedestrian, which also causes a decrease in alertness and an impairment of cognitive abilities, therefore increases the user's exposure to danger and risk taking. 23% of the pedestrians killed, tested with alcohol, had a level above 0.5g/l, and 40% of them had a level above 2g/l.
In fatal accidents, 13% of the drivers tested are positive for illegal drugs. This proportion varies according to the mode of transport: it is 36% for moped riders, 13% for motorists and 4% for truck drivers.
The drivers tested positive for illegal drugs in fatal accidents are :
- 62% of passenger vehicle drivers and 19% of motorcycle drivers,
- 92 % of men,
- 29 % aged 18 to 24, 32 % aged 25 to 34, and 23 % aged 35 to 44.
If in 23 % of fatal accidents, at least one driver had used illegal drugs, it's estimated that drug use is the main cause of the fatal accident in only 8 % of cases.