According to a recent study published by the government, drivers in the United States who were pulled over randomly and stopped on roadways, were found to have drugs in their systems 14% of the time. In fact, the use of drugs was nearly twice that among those involved in deadly crashes. The message remains simple to the public in general: “Don’t drink or consume drugs when you know you are going to drive,” says Eduardo Romano, Ph.D., and lead author of a recent study.
Of course, we understand consequences of driving drunk can prove to be fatal but unfortunately, alcohol is no longer the only dangerous drug on the road. There is a push in the White House with hopes to create a new law specifically for those who are “drugged drivers”. A new study was the focus of an article in Science Daily and stated that about 25% of drivers in the United States who perished in a car crash, had drugs in their systems. The drugs found to be most common in these instances were stimulants such as amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana. Sadly, this issue is much more complex when trying to pass laws of this nature.
Robert B. Voas, Ph.D, co-author of the study, of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Calverton, Maryland says that “when you examine drivers who have been in fatal crashes, the percentage on drugs is significantly higher.” The blood alcohol levels of drivers can be tested easily but with drugs there are not levels that have been “agreed-upon”. Romano and Voas both believe it is important for researchers to keep studying the effects of drugs and their impairment on drivers.