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  • 1. Olivier, Jake
    et al.
    Radun, Igor
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Bicycle helmet effectiveness is not overstated2017In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 18, no 7, p. 755-760Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: The objective of this study was to discuss the challenges in estimating bicycle helmet effectiveness from case-control studies of injured cyclists and to estimate helmet effectiveness from cases and available exposure data.Methods: Data were extracted from studies of cyclists in Seattle; Victoria and New South Wales, Australia; and The Netherlands. Estimates of helmet use were used as exposure to compute relative risks for Seattle and Victorian data. Cycling distance data are routinely collected in The Netherlands; however, these data cannot be disaggregated by helmet use, which makes it unsuitable for estimating helmet effectiveness. Alternative controls were identified from larger cohorts for the Seattle and New South Wales cases.Results: Estimates of helmet effectiveness were similar from odds ratios (ORs) using hospital controls or from relative risks (RRs) using helmet use estimates (Seattle: OR = 0.339, RR = 0.444; Victoria: OR = 0.500, RR = 0.353). Additionally, the odds ratios using hospital controls were similar when controls were taken from a larger cohort for head injury of any severity (Seattle: OR = 0.250, alt OR = 0.257; NSW: OR = 0.446, alt OR = 0.411) and for serious head injury (Seattle: OR = 0.135, alt OR = 0.139; NSW: OR = 0.335, alt OR = 0.308). Although relevant exposure data were unavailable for The Netherlands, the odds ratio for helmet effectiveness of those using racing, mountain, or hybrid bikes was similar to other estimates (OR = 0.371).Conclusions: Despite potential weaknesses with case-control study designs, the best available evidence suggests that helmet use is an effective measure of reducing cycling head injury.

  • 2.
    Radun, Igor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. University of Helsinki, Finland; Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Ohisalo, Jussi
    Rajalin, Sirpa
    Radun, Jenni E.
    Wahde, Mattias
    Lajunen, Timo
    Alcohol Ignition Interlocks in All New Vehicles: A Broader Perspective2014In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 15, no 4, p. 335-342Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To discuss the implications of widespread implementation of alcohol ignition interlocks.

    Method: We base our discussion on data from Finland including crash statistics and surveys collected from criminal justice professionals and general driving population.

    Results: Alcohol ignition interlocks are an effective preventive measure against drunk driving when installed in the vehicles of convicted drunk drivers. However, once they are removed from the vehicles, drivers typically return to their habit of drinking and driving. Furthermore, for a number of reasons, the proportion of convicted drunk drivers that install an interlock in their vehicles is quite small. Therefore, many stakeholders believe that the solution to the drunk driving problem will come when interlocks become standard equipment in all new vehicles. However, drunk driving is a complex sociopsychological problem, and technology can rarely offer a solution to such complex problems. Consequently, many aspects of such interventions might be difficult to identify and include in cost-benefit analysis.

    Conclusion: We express caution about requiring an interlock as standard equipment in all new vehicles.

  • 3.
    Radun, Igor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Parkkari, Inkeri
    Radun, Jenni
    Kaistinen, Jyrki
    Kecklund, Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Olivier, Jake
    Tervo, Timo
    Theorell, Töres
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Suicide by crashing into a heavy vehicle: Focus on professional drivers using in-depth crash data2019In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 20, no 6, p. 575-580Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: Road traffic suicides typically involve a passenger car driver crashing his or her vehicle into a heavy vehicle, because death is almost certain due to the large mass difference between these vehicles. For the same reason, heavy-vehicle drivers typically suffer minor injuries, if any, and have thus received little attention in the research literature. In this study, we focused on heavy-vehicle drivers who were involved as the second party in road suicides in Finland.

    Methods: We analyzed 138 road suicides (2011-2016) involving a passenger car crashing into a heavy vehicle. We used in-depth road crash investigation data from the Finnish Crash Data Institute.

    Results: The results showed that all but 2 crashes were head-on collisions. Almost 30% of truck drivers were injured, but only a few suffered serious injuries. More than a quarter reported sick leave following their crash. Injury insurance compensation to heavy-vehicle drivers was just above euro9,000 on average. Material damage to heavy vehicles was significant, with average insurance compensation paid being euro70,500. Three out of 4 truck drivers reported that drivers committing suicide acted abruptly and left them little opportunity for preventive action.

    Conclusions: Suicides by crashing into heavy vehicles can have an impact on drivers' well-being; however, it is difficult to see how heavy-vehicle drivers could avoid a suicide attempt involving their vehicle.

  • 4.
    Radun, Igor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Radun, Jenni
    Kaistinen, Jyrki
    Olivier, Jake
    Parkkari, Inkeri
    Kecklund, Göran
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Theorell, Töres
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Suicide by crashing into a heavy vehicle: Professional drivers' views2019In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 20, no 8, p. 826-831Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: Every profession has its own safety and health risks. In addition to the risk of being involved in a normal road crash, professional heavy vehicle drivers are at risk of becoming victims of people attempting suicide by crashing into their vehicles. Road suicides are not that rare, at least not in Finland, where they represent about 12% of all fatal road crashes. The purpose of this study was to survey professional heavy vehicle drivers about their experiences, views and opinions regarding road suicides.

    Methods: The sample included heavy vehicle drivers (N = 863) randomly recruited from a transport workers' union.

    Results: About 18% of the respondents reported a suspected suicide attempt of a motor vehicle driver crashing into their vehicle, with 15% of these (i.e.2.8% of the whole sample) also reporting a resulting crash. More than half of the respondents reported personally knowing another professional driver who had experienced a crash caused by a suicidal driver. Almost 80% of the drivers reported being afraid that someone would attempt suicide by crashing into their vehicle; however, thinking about such a possibility produces a level of anxiety in less than half of all respondents. Most respondents agreed about the challenges of avoiding a crash if somebody deliberately drives their car towards their vehicle.

    Conclusion: Heavy vehicle drivers perceive road suicides as an occupational risk in their profession. We discuss possible preventive measures against suicide attempts by crashing into a heavy vehicle.

  • 5.
    Radun, Igor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Watling, Hanna
    Radun, Jenni
    Kaistinen, Jyrki
    Olivier, Jake
    Women judging: Is a young male drunk driver perceived as more negligent than a young female drunk driver?2018In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 19, no 7, p. 675-679Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: It is well established that young men are the riskiest group of all drivers, and men in general more often drive under the influence of alcohol. However, potentially oversimplified representations such as a young male problem and drunk driving as a male problem can influence action and reinforce existing attitudes by selectively directing attention to stereotypically consistent behavior. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis of possible bias toward young male drivers in the context of drunk driving.Methods: We have created a scenario study investigating whether the sex of an imaginary young drunk driver would be associated with a different perceived negligence (ranging from 0=not negligent at all to 10=extremely negligent) among our participants. These participants were a representative sample of Finnish female driver's license holders. The data for the study were gathered as part of a larger survey study on women's drinking and driving culture.Results: Perceptions of how negligent a person was depended on the age of the respondents such that the older the respondent, the higher the perceived negligence. Perceived negligence was similar for male and female drivers in the scenario; however, there was an interaction effect between driver sex and the age of respondents. The youngest (20-29 years) and 2 oldest (50-69 years) groups of our respondents found the young woman to be more negligent, whereas the opposite occurred for the other 2 groups.Conclusions: The results of our imaginary scenario study of a representative sample of Finnish female driver's license holders do not support a hypothesis that there would be a negative bias toward young male drivers in the context of drunk driving behavior.

  • 6.
    Watling, Christopher N.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
    Armstrong, Kerry A.
    Smith, Simon S.
    Obst, Patricia L.
    Crash risk perception of sleepy driving and its comparisons with drink driving and speeding: Which behavior is perceived as the riskiest?2016In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 17, no 4, p. 400-405Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: Driver sleepiness is a major crash risk factor but may be underrecognized as a risky driving behavior. Sleepy driving is usually rated as less of a road safety issue than more well-known risky driving behaviors, such as drink driving and speeding. The objective of this study was to compare perception of crash risk of sleepy driving, drink driving, and speeding. Methods: Three hundred Australian drivers completed a questionnaire that assessed crash risk perceptions for sleepy driving, drink driving, and speeding. Additionally, the participants' perceptions of crash risk were assessed for 5 different contextual scenarios that included different levels of sleepiness (low, high), driving duration (short, long), and time of day/circadian influences (afternoon, nighttime) of driving. Results: The analysis confirmed that sleepy driving was considered a risky driving behavior but not as risky as high levels of speeding (P < .05). Yet, the risk of crashing at 4 a.m. was considered as equally risky as low levels of speeding (10 km over the limit). The comparisons of the contextual scenarios revealed driving scenarios that would arguably be perceived as quite risky because time of day/circadian influences were not reported as high risk. Conclusions: The results suggest a lack of awareness or appreciation of circadian rhythm functioning, particularly the descending phase of circadian rhythm that promotes increased sleepiness in the afternoon and during the early hours of the morning. Yet, the results suggested an appreciation of the danger associated with long-distance driving and driver sleepiness. Further efforts are required to improve the community's awareness of the impairing effects from sleepiness and, in particular, knowledge regarding the human circadian rhythm and the increased sleep propensity during the circadian nadir.

  • 7.
    Watling, Christopher N.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
    Armstrong, Kerry A.
    Smith, Simon S.
    Wilson, Adrian
    The on-road experiences and awareness of sleepiness in a sample of Australian highway drivers: A roadside driver sleepiness study2016In: Traffic Injury Prevention, ISSN 1538-9588, E-ISSN 1538-957X, Vol. 17, no 1, p. 24-30Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: Driver sleepiness contributes substantially to road crash incidents. Simulator and on-road studies clearly reveal an impairing effect from sleepiness on driving ability. However, the degree to which drivers appreciate the dangerousness of driving while sleepy is somewhat unclear. This study sought to determine drivers' on-road experiences of sleepiness, their prior sleep habits, and personal awareness of the signs of sleepiness. Methods: Participants were a random selection of 92 drivers traveling on a major highway in the state of Queensland, Australia, who were stopped by police as part of routine drink driving operations. Participants completed a brief questionnaire that included demographic information, sleepy driving experiences (signs of sleepiness and on-road experiences of sleepiness), and prior sleep habits. A modified version of the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) was used to assess subjective sleepiness in the 15 min prior to being stopped by police. Results: Participants' ratings of subjective sleepiness were quite low, with 90% reporting being alert to extremely alert on the KSS. Participants were reasonably aware of the signs of sleepiness, with many signs of sleepiness associated with on-road experiences of sleepiness. Additionally, the number of hours spent driving was positively correlated with the drivers' level of sleep debt. Conclusions: The results suggest that participants had moderate experiences of driving while sleepy and many were aware of the signs of sleepiness. The relationship between driving long distances and increased sleep debt is a concern for road safety. Increased education regarding the dangers of sleepy driving seems warranted.

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