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4C Alcohol-Related Injury and Mortality from Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions

Description | Specific Indicators | Corresponding Mandatory Objectives | Corresponding National Indicators | Data Sources |  Alternative Data Sources | ICD Codes | Analysis Check List | Method of Calculation |  Basic Categories | Indicator Comments | Cross-References to Other Sections | References  

Indicator Currently Under Revision 


Number of injuries and/or deaths resulting from motor vehicle traffic collisions (MVTC) in which alcohol was involved per population in the community in which the collisions occurred (usually expressed per 100,000).

Specific Indicators
  • Incidence rate of alcohol-related injuries due to motor vehicle traffic crashes
  • Mortality rate due to alcohol related motor vehicle traffic crashes

Corresponding Mandatory Objectives

  • To reduce the rate of alcohol and related fatalities among drivers of motor vehicles by 10% and injuries by 10% by the year 2010.

Corresponding National Indicators

  • None

Data Sources (see Resources: Data Sources)
Numerator: Ministry of Transportation Collision Database
Original source: Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Distributed by: Health Intelligence Units
Suggested citation (see Data Citation Notes):
Ministry of Transportation Collision Database [years], [Name of HIU], Release/Extracted: [date]

Denominator: Population Estimates
Original source: Statistics Canada
Distributed by:
1. Provincial Health Planning Database (PHPDB), Health Planning Branch, Ontario MOHLTC
2. Health Planning System (HELPS), Public Health Branch, Ontario MOHLTC
Suggested citation (see Data Citation Notes):
1. Population Estimates [years]*, Provincial Health Planning Database (PHPDB) Extracted: [date], Health Planning Branch, Ontario MOHLTC
2. Population Estimates [years]*, HELPS (Health Planning System) Release: [date], Public Health Branch, Ontario MOHLTC
* Note: Use the total years of the estimates, including the most recent year, even if not all were used in the analysis. The years used in the analysis should be included in the report itself.
Analysis Check List

  • None

Method of Calculation

Number of alcohol-related injuries and/or deaths resulting from MVTC 

    x 100,000 

total population in community in which collisions occurred

Basic Categories

  • Geographic areas of residence of deceased: health planning region, public health unit, district health council, county from PHPDB or census division from HELPS, municipality from PHPDB or census sub-division from HELPS, forward sortation area (1996 onward) and postal code (1996 onward).
  • Three categories of alcohol consumption are combined into one category of “alcohol consumed”. The three categories are:
    1. Had Been Drinking: Driver/Pedestrian had consumed alcohol but their physical condition was not legally impaired.
    2. Ability Impaired, Alcohol (over .08): Driver had consumed alcohol and upon testing was found to have a blood-alcohol level in excess of 80 mg.
    3. Ability Impaired, Alcohol: Driver had consumed sufficient alcohol to warrant being charged with a drinking and driving offence. Pedestrian had consumed alcohol and was physically impaired in the judgement of the officer.
  • Degree of Injury: 1) Any injury, 2) Major and fatal injuries, 3) Fatal injury.
    There are four categories of injury recorded:
    1. Minor: person did not go to hospital when leaving the scene of the accident. Includes minor abrasions, bruises and complaint of pain.
    2. Minimal: person went to hospital and was treated in the emergency room but not admitted.
    3. Major: person admitted to hospital. Includes person admitted for observation.
    4. Fatal: person killed immediately or within 30 days of the motor vehicle crash.
  • Breakdown by gender, various age groups, category of victim (e.g. driver, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist).

Indicator Comments

  • The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) maintains a database on every reportable motor vehicle collision that occurs in Ontario. The data are based on the motor vehicle accident report completed by the investigating police officer or staff at a Collision Reporting Centre.
  • Three groupings of files are on the database: collision information (e.g. location, number of vehicles involved, road conditions), driver/vehicle information (e.g., driver’s age and condition, vehicle type), and if a collision results in injury, information about the persons involved (age, sex, position in the vehicle). The files are linked by a common identification number.
  • Collision data are provided geographically by place of occurrence, not by the residence of the driver or injured person; however, the driver’s Forward Sortation Area or FSA (first 3 characters of postal code) was added to the 1995 data. Residence was obtained by linking the drivers’ license file with the collision file and is based on the driver’s place of residence on one selected day during the year.
  • Analysis based on place of occurrence can be misleading since collisions may occur to people who do not live in that area, particularly if the area is frequented by tourists and commuters.
  • Drinking-related injuries and deaths may be underestimated due to drivers leaving the scene of the accident (hit and run).
  • Deaths and injury severity may be underestimated. Deaths occurring more than 30 days after the crash as a result of injuries suffered will not be recorded on the file. Underestimation can also happen for deaths within 30 days if proper follow-up is not done. Similarly, a person who does not go to hospital when leaving the scene of the crash may go at a later time to the emergency room or to be admitted. A person who goes initially only to the emergency room may return later and be admitted. These details may not be captured on the file.

Cross-References to Other Sections

  • Drinking and driving prevalence (Section 5B: Alcohol)


  1. Central East Health Information Partnership (1997) Motor Vehicle Collision Database, Standard Data Files Data Dictionary.


Date of Last Revision: October 5, 2004.

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