The good news is that the number of drunk drivers is on the decline. The bad news? The number of drivers on dangerous drugs is climbing.
The Governors Highway Safety Association, a group of U.S. state highway safety offices that promotes traffic safety, recently issued a report that spotlighted the growing number of drugged drivers. From 2007 to 2014, the percentage of drivers who tested positive for illegal drugs rose from 12.4 percent to 15.1 percent. The numbers come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which conducted random blood and saliva tests of drivers.
The GHSA also notes that in 2013, 38 percent of those killed in automobile accidents tested positive for legal and illegal drugs that could cause impairment. That’s about the same number who tested positive for alcohol.
Common Drugs Found in Drivers
The most common drugs found in the NHTSA testing were:
The author of the report suggests the growing number of states legalizing marijuana and the growing use of prescription pain medicine are two reasons for more drugged drivers on the road today.
Drug Testing for Truck Drivers
The dangers of truck drivers on drugs are no less substantial. That’s why there is a mandatory drug testing for all commercial vehicle drivers who:
• Drive a big rig weighing over 26,000 pounds
• Drive a bus or limousine designed to carry at least 16 passengers
• Haul hazardous waste
The problem is so acute that there is a call to use hair samples, rather than the current urine samples, in the mandatory truck driver drug testing. Hair samples can indicate drug use within the past 90 days, where urine just two to three days.
Drugged drivers of all types of vehicles, from passenger cars to huge tractor trailers, are a menace. If you were severely injured or lost a family member in an accident caused by a driver on drugs, consult an attorney who represents victims of catastrophic motor vehicle accidents to pursue just compensation for your losses from all responsible parties.
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