; Tippetts, S.
; and Voas, R., Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
, vol. 29, issue 5, pgs. 163A (2005)Introduction - There are approximately 700,000 police-reported motor vehicle crashes occurring at stop signs each year. Stop sign violation was involved in 70% of motor vehicle crashes (MVCs), and 33% of those crashes resulted in injury. Drinking and driving was found an important contributor to these incidents (Retting et al., 2002). Very little is known about the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of those drivers who failed to stop at stop signs. Race/ethnicity has been shown to be a explanatory factor for fatal MVCs, particularly in association with presence of alcohol (e.g., Romano et al., 2005). However, the role of race/ethnicity on alcohol-related fatal MVCs at stop signs has not been studied yet. Objective - To investigate the role of race/ethnicity on the incidence of alcohol-related fatal MVCs occurring at stop signaled intersections. Methods - We took advantage of the 1990?1996 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) file with additional racial/ethnic information. For each active participant in a fatal crash recorded in FARS, either the actual BAC-based on an imputation system (Klein, 1986) was provided. We identified an at-fault stop sign crash in FARS as one that (a) took place at an intersection, (b) was controlled by a stop traffic signal, (c) had a driver-level factor of "failure to obey traffic control device," and (d) no police pursuit was involved in the crash. Information on race/ethnicity and BAC was available only for deceased victims, forcing us to restrict the file accordingly. Results - Overall, we found that race/ethnicity did not play a direct role in stop sign running. Drinking and driving, together with age, had the largest explanatory power in our models. However, race/ethnicity does play an indirect role on at-fault stop sign running through its impact on drinking and driving and its interaction with age and gender. This study is the first to document the relevance of race/ethnicity to the running a stop sign problem, and we hope might serve as an incentive for more research on this area. The authors wish to thank NIAAA, Grant Number 1 R21 AA13384-02, for their generous support of this research effort.