With strict enforcement and consequences in place, as well as education and awareness, Americans are getting the hint that drunk driving is unacceptable. Drunk driving is on the decline, but drug driving is on the rise.
Research shows 38 percent of motorists involved in fatal car accidents tested positive for drugs, while government statistics reveal that since 1980 deaths from drunk driving have been cut in half.
With more than a third of the individuals killed in car accidents linked to drugs, marijuana was what was identified in their systems. Amphetamines followed behind at about 10 percent. As regulation on marijuana is relaxing and abuse of prescription drugs is skyrocketing is it surprising that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 22 percent of all drivers tested for drugs for roadside stops test positive for some kind of illegal substance or medication?
The way specific substances effect and impair safe driving ability is being assessed and their connections with traffic accidents is being evaluated. In some degree, any drug, illegal, prescription or over-the-counter can effect safe driving. Different drugs affect different people in different ways. This must be taken into consideration as well. Tackling the issue of drugged driving will be challenging moving forward. For now, raising awareness and educating drivers will be the greatest asset in the effort to keep our roadways safe.