The impact of a national alcohol policy on deaths due to transport accidents in Russia
Aims. To determine the impact of a set of 2006 Russian alcohol policies on deaths due to traffic accidents in the country.
Design, Setting, Participants. We used autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) interrupted time series techniques to model the impact of the intervention on the outcome series. The time series began in January 2000 and ended in December 2010. The alcohol policy was implemented in January 2006, providing 132 monthly observations in the outcome series, with 72 months of pre-intervention data and 60 months of post-intervention data.
Measurements. The outcome variables were the monthly number of male- and female-specific deaths of those aged 15+ years due to transport accidents in Russia.
Results The 2006 set of alcohol policies had no impact on female deaths due to traffic accidents (ω0 = 50.31, p = .27). However, the intervention model revealed an immediate and sustained monthly decrease of 203 deaths due to transport accidents for males (ω0 = -203.40, p = .04), representing an 11% reduction relative to pre-intervention levels.
Conclusions. Our findings are consistent with prior research elsewhere showing that alcohol policies are associated with a reduction in deaths due to transport accidents, especially for males. Given the high volume of alcohol consumption and the high rate of deaths due to traffic accidents in Russia, our findings are substantively important. Specifically, our results show that the implementation of the 2006 Russian alcohol policy is partially responsible for saving more than 2400 male lives annually that would otherwise have been lost to traffic accidents. More generally, our study reveals that alcohol policy is one of multiple pathways that can be utilized to reduce traffic fatalities.