Motor vehicle accidents take various forms. From fender benders to catastrophic collisions, injuries range from minor neck pain to fatalities. Negligent acts behind the wheel are often the cause. A recent study revealed one of the significant causes of crashes.
A survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was established to measure the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse. It revealed that more than 54 percent had been severely injured or killed in traffic accidents and were found to have alcohol or drugs detected in their bloodstreams. THC, an active ingredient in marijuana, was first followed closely by alcohol.
The remaining narcotics included stimulants (10.8 percent) and opioids (9.3 percent).
A nationwide problem
The study that documented data from September of 2019 and July of 2021 also revealed that twenty percent of drivers were found to have blood-alcohol levels over the legal limit in all states. Blood test data from more than 7,000 road users showed that 50 percent of pedestrians and 43 percent of bicyclists were found to have drugs in their system after the accidents.
While the purpose of the study was to measure drug and alcohol use, it is not considered an indicator of drug use on the roads throughout the nation. Nor can it reveal a correlation between drug use before driving and increased highway fatalities.
Still, the NHTSA is expressing concern over the inordinately high percentage of the large sample size studied.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol carries multiple consequences. Accidents change lives. While criminal charges are an option, those pursuits do little to secure another level of justice through a personal injury lawsuit.