Alcohol and Accidents or Injuries


Alcohol is often linked with accidents and injuries and often people who are involved in accidents have alcohol in their system.

There are a number of reasons that alcohol can be involved with accidents.

These include:

  • It is a depressant and slows down thinking and reaction times
  • It affects balance and co-ordination
  • Sight and hearing can be affected
  • People’s concentration capabilities can be weakened
  • Some people feel less alert after drinking alcohol

Studies show that drinking alcohol makes some people more risk-prone that they might normally be as their inhibitions are lowered. Injuries sustained after drinking alcohol are likely to be more serious than they would have been if alcohol was not involved.

Research suggests that as many as 40% of people who go to hospital accident and emergency departments with an injury have been drinking.

Alcohol regularly contributes to accidents such as:

  • Falls – Slips, trips and falls can occur when balance and reaction times are affected by alcohol
  • Road accidents – Although drink driving has fallen dramatically, alcohol is still implicated in a significant number of road traffic deaths and injuries
  • Domestic accidents – Research shows that around 400 people are killed in accidents at home when they have been drinking
  • Fires – Figures show that 270 people died in house fires in 2007/2008. Of those, a third had been drinking. Alcohol can make people sleepy and less careful, resulting in fires in some cases.
  • Drowning – Over 25% of drowned adults are found to have been drinking. People drown in boating accidents and as well as by falling asleep in the bath and slipping into garden ponds.

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