Digital Public Defence: Ragnhild Elén Gjulem Jamt

MSc Ragnhild Elén Gjulem Jamt at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Psychoactive substance use among drivers in a rural area - Studies of prevalence, risk of road traffic crash involvement and driver characteristics” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here


Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Senior Product Manager Sjoerd Houwing, Dutch Driver License Agency (CBR), the Netherlands
  • Second opponent: Professor Kristian Linnet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Marit Inngjerdingen, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Head of Research Leiv Arne Rosseland, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Group leader Stig Tore Bogstrand, Oslo University Hospital


Rural areas have higher mortality rates from injury than urban areas, with particularly high death rates from road traffic crashes (RTCs). Driving under the influence (DUI) of psychoactive substances is a major risk factor for road traffic injury and death.

Finnmark is the largest, but least populated county of Norway. This county has for decades been amongst the counties in Norway with the highest death rates from injury, with RTCs constituting a significant proportion of the fatalities. Finnmark has also for several years had the highest relative number of reports for DUI in Norway. Previous epidemiological studies on the use of psychoactive substances in normal road traffic in Norway have not included Finnmark.

This thesis aimed to gain knowledge about the use of psychoactive substances among drivers in a rural area in terms of estimating the prevalence in normal road traffic and assessing the risk of road traffic crash involvement while engaging in DUI. Furthermore, we assed certain driver characteristics in relation to DUI.

The findings of our study show that the prevalence of psychoactive substances among drivers in Finnmark was low and similar to what has been found in previous Norwegian studies. The prevalence of psychoactive substances among crash-involved drivers in Finnmark who had been investigated for alcohol and drug use was high. A high degree of sensation-seeking behavior was found among drivers who had used stimulating drugs, in contrast to drivers who had used THC and benzodiazepines and/or z-hypnotics who showed a low degree of sensation-seeking. The combination of sensation-seeking behavior and the use of stimulants might lead to risky behavior and thus traffic crashes. This may have implication for traffic safety and deterrence measures. Education programs may be developed for drivers who exhibit high levels of sensation seeking behavior as an attempt to reduce the probability of future DUI.

Additional information

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Published Sep. 9, 2020 5:47 PM - Last modified Sep. 24, 2020 10:08 AM