Evaluating the effect of drunk driving on fatal injuries among vulnerable road users in Taiwan: a population-based study

Hui An Lin, Cheng Wei Chan, Bayu Satria Wiratama, Ping Ling Chen, Ming Heng Wang, Chung Jen Chao, Wafaa Saleh, Hung Chang Huang, Chih Wei Pai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Most studies have focused on injuries sustained by intoxicated drivers themselves, but few have examined the effect of drunk driving on injury outcomes among VRUs (vulnerable road users) in developing countries. This study aims to evaluate the effect of drunk driving on fatal injuries among VRUs (pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcyclists). Methods: The data were extracted from the National Taiwan Traffic Crash Dataset from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2019. Crashes involving one motorized vehicle and one VRU were considered. This study examines the effect of drunk driving by estimating multivariate logistic regression models of fatal injuries among VRUs after controlling for other variables. Results: Among 1,416,168 casualties, the fatality rate of VRUs involved in drunk driving was higher than that of general road users (2.1% vs. 0.6%). Drunk driving was a significant risk factor for fatal injuries among VRUs. Other risk factors for fatal injuries among VRUs included VRU age ≥ 65 years (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 5.24, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.53–6.07), a nighttime accident (AOR: 4.52, 95% CI: 4.22–4.84), and being hit by a heavy-duty vehicle (AOR: 2.83, 95% CI: 2.26–3.55). Subgroup analyses revealed a linear relationship between driver blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and the risk of fatal injury among motorcyclists. Motorcyclists exhibited the highest fatality rate when they had a BAC ≤ 0.03% (AOR: 3.54, 95% CI: 3.08–4.08). Conclusion: Drunk driving was associated with a higher risk of fatality for all VRUs. The risk of fatal injury among motorcyclists was linearly related to the BAC of the drunk drivers. Injuries were more severe for intoxicated motorcyclists, even those with BAC ≤ 0.03%, which is within the legal limit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2059
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Blood alcohol concentration
  • Drunk driving
  • Fatal injury
  • Vulnerable road user

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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