Drugged Driving Involved in More Fatal Crashes
According to a new report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility—a nonprofit organization funded by alcohol distillers—43 percent of fatal car crashes in the United States in 2015 involved illegal or prescription drugs while 37 percent of these fatalities involved alcohol alone.
This report emphasizes the need for increased law enforcement training to detect drivers who are under the influence of drugs. At this time, there is no standard roadside test to detect most drugs. And unlike alcohol—which can be detected and measured using a Breathalyzer and simple blood test—drugs, which are often combined, can be more difficult to detect unless they are found at the scene.
Marijuana laws allowing medicinal or recreational use complicate the drugged driving issue even further. A 2013 study found increases in fatal crashes involving marijuana use in only three of 14 states that passed medical marijuana laws prior to 2010. More research is needed to combat this growing problem.
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