Driving While on Drugs May Soon Overtake Driving While Drunk as the Leading Cause of Fatal Car Accidents

There’s no question that drinking and driving is a serious issue in the United States and in the state of California. According to the most recent estimate, an average of 30 people die every day due to accidents involving drunk driving. That comes out to more than 10,000 people every year. This is about one-third of all traffic-related deaths.

If these statistics are not frightening enough, consider that in recent years, the number of drivers getting into car accidents while on drugs is rising as well. In fact, recent stats point to the fact that it may not be long at all until the number of drug-related fatal car accidents exceeds the number of drunk driving related deaths.

A Closer Look at the Statistics

Back in 2007, about 12% of drivers who were tested for illegal drug use tested positive. In just ten years, the number was up to more than 15%. This is according to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Additionally, 38% of everyone who died in fatal car accidents had some amount of drugs in their system. This is about the same percentage of people who died in fatal car accidents and had alcohol in their system.

It is likely not surprising that marijuana is the most commonly found drug in these situations, but it is not the only one. The drugs most often found in the systems of people involved in accidents include:

  • Marijuana – 34.7%
  • Amphetamines – 9.7%
  • Hydrocodone – 6.9%
  • Oxycodone – 3.6%
  • Benzodiazepines – 4.5%
  • Cocaine – 4.5%

Note as well that there are some drugs that are legal, such as ADHD medications, but can affect a driver’s ability to drive.

Are Drugs Worse Than Alcohol for Drivers

Numerous studies have been done to try to answer the question: Are drugs or alcohol more dangerous for people behind the wheel? Studies have shown that too many factors affect each person to have an across the board answer. We do know that certain illegal drugs can more than double the chances that a person will get into an accident.

One of the problems with drugged drivers is that it can be difficult to prove that a person was under the influence of drugs at the time of an accident. For example, some drugs can stay in a person’s system for weeks. Even if they are tested immediately after the accident and come up positive for drug use, they may argue that they were not under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.

Let an Attorney Fight Your Case for You

If you have been involved in an accident in which the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then you need an attorney who is experienced with these types of cases. You need The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker. Contact us at 800-333-0000 now for a free legal consultation.