US: survey shows more drivers are under the influence of drugs than alcohol image

With increasingly safe cars and highways, motorways are becoming quickly safer than ever, with traffic-related deaths now hovering at historic lows. But there’s one trend that gets officials worried: more drivers are found stoned than drunk.

Auto safety regulators believe that the level of drivers operating a motor vehicle under the influence of prescription drugs or marijuana is quickly rising past the one of drunk driving in the country – not that either of these is more desirable. Stricter and highly enforced regulation on drunk-driving has aided in dropping the level of motorists having alcohol in their system by almost a third since 2007. But according to the latest edition of the Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that 25 percent of drivers that were tested came out positive for at least one drug that might interfere with safety behind the wheel.

The research was made in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on at least 3,000 drivers that were involved in traffic accidents over a period of 20 months. The researchers also used a control group of 6,000 motorists that were driving safely. Among the findings, notable were that weekend nighttime drivers that were under the influence of drugs soared from 16.3 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2014. The jump was of almost 50 percent when talking about drivers that had marijuana in their systems – which is almost entirely due to the latest relaxation over full or partial use of the drug in numerous states.

Via Forbes