Crash Risk Associated with Drug and Alcohol Use by Drivers in Fatal and Serious Injury Crashes

‚ÄčNORC has a subcontract with Dunlap & Associates for this study sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The objective is to determine the injury and fatal crash risk of alcohol and various drugs used by drivers.

Each of the three study sites (Jacksonville and Miami, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina) will have teams that operate from a trauma center. These teams will be responsible for obtaining blood samples from injured drivers that present to the emergency department and with a triage evaluation that results in a trauma team activation. For each injured driver, two control drivers will be surveyed one week after the crash on the same road, same time of day that the crash occurred.

A total of 2500 drivers (approximately 833 at each of the three sites) will be recruited from a convenience sample of injured drivers of motor vehicles crashes (MVC) that are either transported directly to a trauma center or are presented to an emergency department. They may also be recruited from the county coroner's office or medical examiner's office if the driver is suspected to have been the driver in fatal motor vehicle crash. Each of the three study sites will have teams that operate in a trauma center. All study team members will receive extensive training that covers research with human subjects and all data collection activities. They will also be given comprehensive practice on all procedures both in role playing exercises and during pilot testing, and they will be closely supervised to ensure compliance with procedures and policies.

The main study database, the Crash Risk Information System (CRIS), will be developed by NORC on Voxco's A4S and Mobile platforms. The system has the ability to collect data in an offline and online mode along with the functions to allow members of the research team to submit data and related materials via a secure interface. Site Coordinators, Research Nurses, and Data Collectors will all be equipped with tablet computers programed with CRIS and given access to appropriate segments for data entry.

The laboratory conducting the blood analyses (Immunalysis) will be given a web address to access CRIS for the sole purpose of entering the blood results. The tablet will also be equipped with a barcode scanner which will allow the pre-printed barcode on the blood vials to be easily and accurately uploaded into CRIS. NORC will monitor data collection when it begins to ensure accurate and valid data are being entered.