Impaired Driving Research Results
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently issued a press release regarding the results of two recent studies on impaired driving in the U.S. The NHTSA reports that while drunk driving declines, drug use behind the wheel increases across the nation.
Drunk Driving as a National Safety Issue
Drunk driving has been high on the list of national motor vehicle safety issues for the last couple of decades. Thanks to safety campaigns and high-visibility law enforcement patrols, drunk driving has decreased in the U.S. Although this is great news for safe drivers in California and across the nation, we’re seeing an increase in impaired driving involving illegal and legal prescription and over-the-counter drugs. From marijuana to cold medicine, driving under the influence of certain types of drugs continues to put roadway users in danger all over the U.S.
Impaired Driving Statistics
• Since 2007, the number of drivers with alcohol in their systems has declined by nearly one-third.
• Since 1973, the number of drivers with alcohol in their system has declined by three-quarters.
• The number of weekend nighttime drivers with evidence of drugs in their system climbed from 16.3 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2014.
• The number of drivers with marijuana in their system grew by almost 50 percent.
• In a 2014 survey, nearly one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safety behind the wheel.
What About Prescription and Over-the-Counter Meds?
Although driving under the influence of legally prescribed and purchased over-the-counter medications isn’t publicized as widely as drinking and driving, there’s no doubting the danger involved. Any medications or drugs that can impact your wakefulness are dangerous behind the wheel. If drowsiness is a side effect, you shouldn’t be operating a vehicle.
Injured in a Drunk Driving Accident
After an accident involving a drunk or drug impaired driver, you need to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case.