data were collected on all adult pedestrian fatalities which occurred in the west midlands metropolitan area during the period 1 january 1969 - 31 december 1975. from coroners' records, blood alcohol concentrations (bac) were obtained for those pedestrians who died within 12 hours of the accident. other relevant data were collected from police files. control data were obtained from roadside interviewing of pedestrians (matched for sex) passing the accident site at the time of day, day of week, and time of year as the occurrence of the accident. from these interviews, biographical data and drinking habits were obtained together with bac measures (using an "alcolmeter"). a comparison of the bac distribution of 344 fatally-injured pedestrians with that of a matched group of 1118 non-accident-involved pedestrians showed the increased risk of pedestrian fatal accident involvement associated with a bac equal to or greater than 120 mg/100 ml. impaired pedestrians (bac equal to or greater than 120 mg/100 ml) comprised 27 per cent of male and 7 per cent female pedestrians who died within 12 hours of the accident. amongst males, impairment appeared to be over-represented amongst the 15-64 years age group, unmarried, divorced, and separated persons, and semi-skilled and unskilled workers. routine bac determination for all adult pedestrians admitted to hospital following a traffic accident is suggested as an essential first step in the detection and treatment of alcohol dependent individuals.(a)

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