Increase Seen in Drugged Driving
A report released on Wednesday conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility found that drugged driving has topped drunk driving in the U.S. Both illegal and prescription drugs were present in 43 percent of fatal car crashes with available test results in 2015. More than a third of drivers who tested positive for drugs in the report used marijuana and more than nine percent took amphetamines. This is compared to the approximate 37 percent who tested positive for alcohol.
This study reveals a frightening increase in people driving while under the influence of drugs. In response to these findings, the governors association is reportedly increasing the training of law enforcement in the detection of drugged drivers. With drunk driving, officers have a Breathalyzer test which can be used to detect alcohol, but with drugs there is no standard roadside test available.
The opioid epidemic, which is the deadly rise in the use of heroin and abuse of prescription drugs witnessed across the country, is a topic of ongoing discussion. In 2015 it is reported that 43 percent of drivers tested positive for drugs after dying in a crash, this number is up from the almost 28 percent reported in 2005.
The effects of specific drugs varies on how they act in the brain. These effects can range from aggressive driving, delayed reactions, decrease in coordination, drowsiness, dizziness and more. Studies have also shown that people often mix various substances, in addition to alcohol which can have an increased effect on an individual’s ability to drive.