Drugged Driving Is Now Causing More Deaths Than Drunk Driving

Posted: Apr 29 2017, 9:41am CDT | by , Updated: Apr 29 2017, 9:53am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Drugged Driving is Now Causing More Deaths than Drunk Driving
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For the first time, drugged driving surpasses drunk driving among car crash deaths in United States

In United States, drugged driving has now become a bigger threat than drunk driving.

For the first time, data shows that drivers killed in car crashes were more likely to be on drugs than alcohol and this trend is both surprising and problematic.

“As drunk driving has declined, drugged driving has increased dramatically and many of today’s drivers are combining two or more substances, which has a multiplicative effect on driver impairment.” Ralph Blackman, President and CEO of Responsibility.org said in a statement.

The report released by Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) and Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows that 43% of drivers killed in car crashes in 2015 were tested positive for any drug, compared to 37% who showed excessive consumption of alcohol. 57% of fatally injured drivers were also on the drugs in the same year. Of the tested drivers, 35% were positive for marijuana. Around 34 percent were detected with drugs in the FARS list while 9.3% had amphetamine in their system.

The number of US drivers who had drugs in their system after the fatal car crash is accelerated from almost 28 percent in 2005 to 43 percent in 2015.

Both driving under influence and driving while impaired is dangerous and is illegal in anywhere in United States. However, laws covering drugged impaired driving are hard to enforce, simply because it is more complex issue and hard to identify. There are hundreds of types of drugs that can lead to impaired driving. But there are no uniform laws to determine what drugs should be screened for. Moreover, there is no standard test that could be used to detect drug related impairment.

The report calls for increased training for police to detect drivers who are on drugs and to prevent deaths caused by drug-impaired driving.

“As states across the country continue to struggle with drug-impaired driving, it’s critical that we help them understand the current landscape and provide examples of best practices so they can craft the most effective countermeasures.” Jonathan Adkins, Executive Director of GHSA said.

The report also reinforces the important of timely and accurate data collection. In this regard, New York police has begun using tablet computers that will allows officers to transfer investigation data to a centralized system for immediate access.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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