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Open Access

Traffic Accidents in Switzerland: How Hazardous Are “High Risk” Groups? An Analysis Based on Police Protocols

  • Thomas Gautschi1,
  • Dominik Hangartner2 and
  • Aline Bütikofer3
Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics2007143:BF03399244

Published: 2 January 2007


On January 1, 2005, Switzerland reduced the legal level of blood-alcohol concentration while driving from 0.8‰ to 0.5‰. This happend on basis of the assumption that more restrictive per mil levels increase road safety. The benefit of lower blood-alcohol levels, however, depends on whether drinking drivers indeed pose a risk for themselves and other road users. Analyses using official data of all 84,437 two-car crashes during 2001–2005 indeed show a higher relative risk of drinking to sober drivers. And, we also find evidence that prejudices against drivers with an Eastern European citizenship, contrary to recent newspaper articles, are groundless.


traffic accidentsdrinkingstatistical modellingestimation of risk