NHTSA Says Fewer Are Drinking and Driving, But Drug Use on the Rise
Posted on February 9th, 2015 by Zane Cagle
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released two new studies showing that fewer people are drinking and driving behind the wheel but more are getting behind the wheel under the influence of marijuana and other drugs. The NHTSA released the studies last Friday.
NHTSA Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Abuse by Drivers
The NHTSA Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Abuse by Drivers, a study conducted by the NHTSA found that the number of drivers with alcohol in their system fell one-third since 2007. That same survey was conducted in 2013 and 2014 and found that 22 percent of drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safety. All of those include illegal drugs, prescription medication and over-the-counter medications.
The survey also found that about 8 percent of drivers during weekend nighttime hours had some alcohol in their system, while 1.5 percent were found to be driving over the legal limit. At the same time, 15 percent of drivers tested positive for at least one illegal drug, and 12.6 percent had marijuana in their system, a nearly 50 percent increase since 2007.
The NHTSA Roadside Survey has been conducted five times over the last 40 years. Drivers follow signs to designated areas for testing where researchers collect data from volunteers. The anonymous survey is conducted at dozens of locations across the country.
Second NHTSA Survey Released
In the second study, the largest of its kind examined the risks of drunk and drugged driving. The study was collected in Virginia Beach, Virginia and gathered data over 20 months from more than 3,000 people involved in crashes. The survey found that drivers with blood alcohol levels above the legal limit had four times the risk of crashing as did sober drivers. Meanwhile, the survey found that marijuana users were more likely to be involved in accidents. Although, the survey pointed out that pot users are more likely to belong to demographic groups that are generally at higher risk of crashes.
The Washington State Roadside Survey is scheduled to examine the risks in a state where marijuana was recently legalized.
Drunk Driving Victims
Every day individuals climb in their cars to go to work or to run errands and without warning cross paths with a drunk driver. As a DUI victim, you may have serious injuries requiring long weeks of recovery or even catastrophic injuries that will last a life time. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident involving alcohol, you need to consult a personal injury attorney right away. The risk of being hit by a drunk driver is much higher at certain times of the day. According to federal data, nearly half of the fatal traffic accidents occurring from 9 p.m. until Midnight involve an alcohol-impaired driver. Alcohol related traffic fatalities peak at more than 60 percent between Midnight and 3 a.m. This isn’t surprising news to any of us.
While a driver whose blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit of .08 percent can be criminally prosecuted for driving while impaired, most DUI victims who are seriously injured will need to file a civil lawsuit in order to recover monetary compensation from the drunk driver and/or the drunk driver’s insurance company.
Anytime a driver is impaired and the result in an injury accident, you may need to hire an attorney in order to get the compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Each crash and scenario is unique, so consulting an experienced personal injury attorney right away is always in your best interest.
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