Drugged Driving More Prevalent Than Drunk Driving

Aug 23, 2016 0 Comments in drug use by
Drugged Driving More Prevalent Than Drunk Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drugged driving is now more prevalent than drunk driving. While drunk driving incidents decreased steadily since 2007, the rate of drugged driving increased.

Who Is Driving While Stoned?

According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 10 million people drive while under the influence of drugs each year. The study found that men are more likely to drive while drugged than women. Additionally, young adults age 18 to 25 are more likely to drive while under the influence of illicit drugs than adults 26 and older.

What Drugs are Most Common in Drugged Driving?

In drugged driving related crashes, marijuana is the most common substance of abuse found in the blood of drivers. However, the role that this substance played in the crash is unclear. While several past studies indicated that drivers who had marijuana in their system were twice as likely to be involved or killed in a deadly crash than other drivers, a more recent NHTSA study was unable to link marijuana to increased crash risk.

In addition to marijuana, prescription medications are also linked to drugged driving crashes. In 2010, a nationwide study of deadly crashes found that 47 percent of drivers who tested positive for drugs took a prescription drug.

How Often Do Drugged Driving Crashes Occur?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell how many crashes are caused by drugged driving. Unlike the breathalyzer for alcohol, there aren’t any good roadside tests that detect drug levels in the body. Additionally, if a person has already tested positive for illegal blood alcohol levels, police usually don’t test for drugs. In those that do test positive for both drugs and alcohol in their system, it’s impossible to know which substance had a greater effect on the person’s driving.

According to a 2009 NHTSA study, at least 18 percent of drivers killed in a vehicle crash tested positive for one substance of abuse. In 2010, a survey of all deadly crashes found that at least 11 percent involved at least one drugged driver.

Prevention is Key

As with drunk driving, prevention is key to putting an end to drugged driving. If you are attending a party or plan to use drugs or alcohol, appoint a designated driver. Don’t let anyone leave your home if they’re too stoned to drive – take their keys. And talk to friends and family about the risks of driving while under the influence of drugs before the party begins. Remember, prescription medications can be just as dangerous as illicit drugs – pay attention to any warning labels about driving after taking medications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *