Drugged Drivers Now Cause More Traffic Deaths Than Drunk Ones

Speed kills but for the first time a study reported the number of drivers who tested positive for drugs after dying in a crash rose from almost 28 percent in 2005 to 43 percent in 2015. (Toby Talb

Speed kills but for the first time a study reported the number of drivers who tested positive for drugs after dying in a crash rose from almost 28 percent in 2005 to 43 percent in 2015. (Toby Talb

Speed kills but for the first time a study reported the number of drivers who tested positive for drugs after dying in a crash rose from nearly 28 percent in 2005 to 43 percent in 2015.

Fewer drunk drivers were killed in automobile accidents in 2015 than drivers who tested positive for drugs, the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility said in Wednesday's report.

Drivers killed in fatal vehicle crashes are now more likely to be on drugs than drunk, according to a report published Wednesday, prompting its authors to demand lawmakers "do something" about the uptick of drug-related casualties.

Identifying drugged drivers, as opposed to drunk drivers, can sometimes be hard for law enforcement officers and the numbers of drugged drivers on the roads are climbing, according to information from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

"As states across the country continue to struggle with drug-impaired driving, it's critical that we help them understand the current landscape and provide examples of best practices so they can craft the most effective countermeasures", said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of GHSA.

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And Conte said: 'I think that we passed a big, big step. "We have to continue to work and try to improve our mistakes". I am focused on the last month, and we will talk later.

He stressed that doesn't mean drugged drivers were involved in or caused more fatal crashes than drunken drivers, because there is no objective test for when someone is impaired by drugs and because states don't test all drivers killed in crashes.

The increase in drug-related driving deaths also coincides with more marijuana legalization, with 29 states and the District of Columbia allowing its medical or recreational use. "It's like an avalanche trend and it's rumbling right at us".

"The reduction of drunk driving is a result of a long-term effort", he said. It found 44 percent of drivers said they had used marijuana within two hours of getting behind the wheel in the past year.

Responsibility.org is doling out $100,000 worth of grants to highway safety offices in Illinois, Montana, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin to help them implement Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement training and Drug Recognition Expert programs. It is also working on developing policies, procedures and training. The foundation paid for the study and strongly supports the need for better public education, said Brandy Naninni, vice president for government relations and traffic safety for the foundation. "I don't think people realize what that means - that they don't have the same reaction time on drugs".

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