On most road accidents, one of the questions always needed to be answered is whether or not those involved were driving under the influence of alcohol. However, the latest edition of a report on drug-impaired driving shows that drugged driving isn't just more fatal compared to drunk driving, but it is also a more complicated topic.
More Fatalities With DUIDs
In the latest installment of a report on drug-impaired driving commissioned by a partnership between the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, data showed that from the year 2015, fatalities resulting from drugged driving surpassed the numbers for fatalities resulting from drunk driving.
In the concerning period, it was revealed that 43 percent of car crash fatalities tested positive for drugs, while 37 percent tested positive for alcohol. Though both are large numbers, researchers are pointing out an increase in drug use among drivers as the number of alcohol use among drivers decreases.
A More Complicated Issue Than Drunk Driving
With such data in their hands, researchers still find that the topic of drugged driving requires a much more complicated conversation as compared to discussing drunk driving.
For one thing, while driving under the influence of alcohol has a wide array of literature on its effects and impairments on drivers, there is a limited amount of information on the effects of drug use on drivers.
The sheer variety among the different types of drugs alone makes it even more difficult for researchers to pinpoint a specific effect of drug use on driving, as the effects of each type of drug significantly varies in one way or another.
What's more, drug laws differ from state to state, making certain drugs illegal to use, while some are available over the counter.
To summarize the report, researchers state that little is still known about the effects and implications of drug use on driving, much less the effectiveness of current laws and legislatures in preventing more fatal accidents.
Law enforcement and state offices are often urged to "do something" about the issue of drugged-driving, but what that action is, is far from clear. As such, further research about the implications of drug-impaired driving as well as possible laws that can significantly reduce them are needed.
In a tweet, the GHSA stated that the focus on drugged driving does not mean a lesser focus on drunk driving. Instead, both require equal attention.
Agree. No one has suggested focusing less on alcohol. Both issues require attention. Mixing of drugs and alcohol also a problem (1 of 2). https://t.co/zkCNoaBedx
— GHSA (@GHSAHQ) April 27, 2017