Drugged Driving an Emerging Problem

According to a recently published report by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), drug involvement among fatally injured drivers increased from 2005 to 2009. In 2009, 18 percent of fatally injured drivers tested were drug involved (defined by the study as testing positive for a variety of drugs, both legal and illegal, prescription and over-the-counter). This number marked an increase from 2005, when only 13 percent of fatally injured drivers tested proved to be drug involved.

The NHTSA data indicates that drivers tested positive for prescription drugs, as well as a variety of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, PCP, hallucinogens and inhalants. The testing does not indicate whether the driver was impaired at the time of the crash or whether drug use was the cause.

Further Study Needed

The NHTSA has made it clear that further investigations are needed. The NHTSA depends on state and local authorities to test fatally injured drivers and make reports about drug use. Procedures among states vary widely and it may be that the problem of drugged driving is much more widespread than the study indicates.

What is most alarming about this study is the number of potentially drug impaired drivers currently on our nation's roadways. Nearly everyone is aware that drinking and driving is a major problem in the U.S., but experts are just beginning to uncover the extent of the danger posed by drugged drivers.

An Attorney Can Help

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident with an impaired driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can assess your case and help you get the money for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering that you deserve. To learn more, contact a personal injury attorney today.