A new government study has found that driving drunk in this country is on the decline but there are more drivers under the influence of drugs on the road than ever before.
The study was commissioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a federal agency charged with preventing motor vehicle accidents. The 2013-2014 study gauged driver alcohol and drug usage by employing a random roadside stop of drivers who voluntarily participated. It was a follow-up to a similar study conducted in 2007.
Over 11,000 drivers were asked to provide oral fluid, blood, and breath samples. Samples were taken during the day on weekdays and during the night on weekends.
The survey found that the number of drunk drivers fell by almost one-third since 2007. It also found that one out of every four U.S. drivers had drugs – illegal or otherwise – in their system that could hamper their performance behind the wheel.
Number of Drivers Using Marijuana Jumped 50 Percent
Comparing the findings of the 2007 survey to this most recent effort:
• 20 percent of the weekend nighttime drivers had drugs in their system; 16 percent did so in 2007
• The number of drivers testing positively for marijuana jumped 50 percent over the first study
The NHTSA also recently released another survey that measured crash risks by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The 20-month study found that marijuana users had a higher risk for accidents than non-users, as well as:
• Drivers with a blood alcohol content above .08 percent were four times more likely to crash than sober drivers, and those above .15 percent were 12 times more likely to be in an accident
Drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs cause catastrophic accidents that kill or catastrophically injure innocent victims. If you lost a loved one in an accident involving a drunk or drugged driver, you may want to consult an attorney experienced in fatal motor vehicle accident investigations to discuss your legal options.
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