Alcohol and cannabis are primary drugs in impaired driving accidents according to a new report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The report confirmed that alcohol is still the most commonly identified drug in impaired driving accidents, with cannabis coming in second. Researchers also discovered that, unlike alcohol, cannabis was more frequently detected in combination with alcohol or other substances.
“Impaired driving leads to tragedy every day on our nation’s roads, but it doesn’t have to,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy. “To create a truly safe system — one where impaired driving is a relic of the past — states and federal agencies must implement our recommendations, and fast. Further complacency is inexcusable.”
The research also emphasizes that present testing techniques and protocols must be improved in order to better detect drug use in drivers and accurately assess the prevalence of drug-impaired driving. Currently, for example, law enforcement will halt a test once the blood alcohol level for impairment is reached without further testing for other types of drugs that may be present, information that may be useful to researchers. Furthermore, a lack of standardized drug testing and reporting impedes knowledge of the issue and the establishment of legislation to prevent impaired driving, as well as treatment choices for those suffering from substance misuse disorders.
Reducing Impaired Driving Accidents
“We’ve long known about the devastating impact of alcohol-impaired driving, but this report shows that impairment from other drugs, especially cannabis, is a growing concern that needs to be addressed,” said NTSB Member Tom Chapman. The report made several recommendations, including:
- A requirement that cannabis products have a warning label about driving impairment
- Enhancements to state drug-impaired driving laws
- Standardization of toxicology testing for the detection of drug use
- Research on how to improve compliance with driving-related warnings on potentially impairing prescription and over-the-counter drugs
If you’ve been injured in an impaired driving accident, talk to an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. Call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.