Forty percent of fatally injured drivers tested positive for drugs in 2013.
“Every state must take steps to reduce drug-impaired driving, regardless of the legal status of marijuana”, Adkins said. It urges states to assess the data in their region, examine and update drug-impaired driving laws, test all drivers who are killed in a crash for drugs and separate statistics between drunken driving from driving while on drugs.
The drugged driving development has become escalating as 40 proportion of those that kicked the bucket in 2013 had remnants of medicine inside their shapes, 12 proportion more than in 2005.
The governors group report concludes that, “Marijuana is by far the most common drug that is used, found in roadside surveys, and found in fatally-injured drivers”.
Twenty three states permit medical marijuana, four others and the District of Columbia have legalized its recreational use. And we encourage [the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] to issue guidance on best practices to prevent marijuana-impaired driving.
A research paper by NHTSA in February said “there is evidence that marijuana use impairs psychomotor skills, divided attention, lane tracking and cognitive functions. We look to the federal government to take a leadership role in this issue similar to that of drunk driving and seat belt use”. There are 18 states with either zero tolerance laws for driving with marijuana or that set limits on the legal level.
The report noted that a few drivers said they thought it was safer to get in the auto after ingesting marijuana than after drinking alcohol. However, it is still “highly debatable” how much drugs actually increase crash risk because study findings have been all over the place, Hedlund says. “The only thing you can say with confidence is that in laboratory experiments, it affects a lot of things that are related to driving”, he said.
Police said Ronald Hayes was high on drugs and alcohol and desperate to escape officers in Maryland, when he ran a red light and smashed into the side of a minivan filled with women and children, killing two of them.
Given these findings on the relatively benign and also hard-to-quantify effects marijuana has on driving ability, it is highly inappropriate and misleading for the GHSA’s most recent drugged driving report to include marijuana among the top drugs of concern.