All of us are aware of the fatal consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol. However, it is also shown that driving under the influence of drugs is also rising the number of fatal crashes in the United States. Illicit drugs have been in use by a large proportion of people in the country. These illicit drugs result in impairing skills related to driving. They lack coordination and fail to give immediate responses. Because of these effects, drugged driving leads to many accidents.
As per the study reports published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 25% of the drivers who died in the fatal crashes tested positive for drugs. This was found to be almost double to that estimated by the 2007 National Roadside Survey. The study explored the relationship of fatal crashes linked with drugged driving associated with speeding, inattention, failure to obey or yield, and forgoing seat belts.
Between 1998 and 2009, more than 44,000 fatally injured drivers with drug-test information were there. About one-fourth of them tested positive for drugs. Illicit drugs including cannabinoids and stimulants each contributed to 23% of the drug-positive results. Among the fatally injured drivers involved in single-vehicle crashes, 79% were tested positive for drugs other than alcohol. It was found from a government study that of the drivers who were tested randomly, 14% resulted positive for drugs.
Apart from the illicit drugs, alcohol has become no exception for its role in occurrence of fatal crashes. When alcohol was also consumed by a driver in addition to taking drugs, alcohol was found to be the main reason for impaired driving. So, both alcohol and illicit drugs are found to be responsible for the rise of fatal crashes in the United States.