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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit


Keyword: drinking and driving

Focus on Road Traffic Injuries in Vietnam: Selections from the Traffic Injury Prevention Special Issue

Typical of many developing countries, Vietnam’s burden of road traffic injuries (RTIs) is high—about half of all injury-related fatalities are from RTIs-- and as the population has increased, the number of motor vehicles has risen proportionately as well. And despite Vietnam having one of the strictest alcohol legislations in the region, a recent study concluded that more than 10% of all road traffic crashes were caused by alcohol.

Recently, members of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (JH-IIRU), including associate faculty member Nhan T. Tran, associate director Abdulgafoor M. Bachani and Jeffrey C. Lunnen, along with their colleagues from the Hanoi School of Public Health and the World Health Organization, Vietnam, published a study aimed at illustrating the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAPs) around alcohol use and drinking and driving by age and sex in three provinces in Vietnam.

The study, entitled “Drinking and Driving in Vietnam: Public Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices,” which appears in the special issue of Traffic Injury Prevention, concluded that in order to effectively reduce the prevalence of drinking and driving in Vietnam, first understanding the prevailing attitudes surrounding the practice is essential.  The study found that an increased enforcement-based, multifaceted approach, which may include enhanced enforcement of existing legislation, increased social marketing and programs that provide alternatives to drinking and driving, is needed.

In the spring of 2012, The JH-IIRU published “Public Health Burden of Road Traffic Injuries: An Assessment from Ten Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” a special issue of Traffic Injury Prevention as part of theRoad Safety in 10 Countries project (RS-10). This landmark publication includes 11 scientific papers jointly authored with 50 colleagues from JH-IIRU and their in-country collaborators that contribute much-needed new knowledge to the burgeoning issue of road traffic injuries in low- and middle- income countries.

You can access the full article along with the entire special issue here.

Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit Associate Director Publishes New Paper Drinking and Driving Disparities in North and South America

In a newly published article in Addiction, Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit associate director Aruna Chandran, MD, MPH, along with Flavio Pechansky, MD, PhD from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, examine the disparity that exists in northern and southern American countries with regard to drinking and driving prevention strategies.
In “Why don’t northern American solutions to drinking and driving work in southern America?,” the researchers—using Brazil as a case example for southern American countries—explore why such a disparity exists.  The paper highlights examples and experiences from the North American countries of the United States and Canada—where DWI trends have been known for decades and the association between alcohol consumption and increased road traffic crashes has been well-established—in comparison with Brazil, a country that is still struggling to provide baseline data.
This lack of objective, systematically collected alcohol-associated driving data limits both the ability to implement and enforce specific prevention strategies and determine if proven prevention efforts from North America can be transferred effectively to the south.
In the paper, the Dr. Chandran and her colleagues in Brazil proposed a three-pronged approach to address the north-south gap: 1) systematic collection of data on road traffic crash/injury/death rates as well as risk factor data 2) passage of laws (within a framework that prevents legal circumventing of punishment) that requires blood alcohol concentration testing compliance and 3) stipulation of appropriate training and availability of proper equipment to the police along with vigilant enforcement.
It is the researchers' hope that lessons learned from North American countries can be applied to lower-performing countries in South America.
To access the full article, click here:
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Scholar Maria Micaela Sviatschi Delivers Seminar on Alcohol Sales and Road Deaths

The Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit was pleased to welcome Maria Micaela Sviatschi to the Bloomberg School of Public Health on Wednesday, October 20, 2010. Ms. Sviatschi, of the Inter-American Development Bank and the University of San Andres, Argentina, met with several members of the Unit throughout her visit.

Ms. Sviatschi also delivered a thought-provoking seminar which focused on the results of her research paper, “Dry Law for Drunk Drivers: The Impact of Alcohol-Related Laws on Car Accident Mortality Rates.” The paper studies the effects of laws that prohibit the sale of alcohol at night (i.e., dry laws), and if these laws impact deaths from car accidents. The results suggest that a particular such “dry law” was associated with a reduction of 14 percent in car accident fatalities.

The International Injury Research Unit looks forward to continued collaboration and discussion with Ms. Sviatschi as she continues her research.


Maria Micaela Sviatschi visited the International Injury Research Unit on October 20, 2010.