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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Drugged Driving Rates Rise

Driving under the influence puts countless lives at risk; fortunately drunk driving rates are down, but sadly drugged driving rates are on the rise, according to a new government report. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that since 2007 the number of drunk drivers has dropped by a third, while the number of drugged drivers has risen by 3 percent, the Associated Press reports.

“America made drunk driving a national issue and while there is no victory as long as a single American dies in an alcohol-related crash, a one-third reduction in alcohol use over just seven years shows how a focused effort and cooperation among the federal government, states and communities, law enforcement, safety advocates and industry can make an enormous difference,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind in a news release. “At the same time, the latest Roadside Survey raises significant questions about drug use and highway safety. The rising prevalence of marijuana and other drugs is a challenge to everyone who is dedicated to saving lives and reducing crashes.”

The report found that the number of drivers who tested positive for marijuana increased by almost 50 percent, from 8.6 percent in 2007 to 12.6 percent last year. Rosekind told the AP, “The rising prevalence of marijuana and other drugs is a challenge to everyone who is dedicated to saving lives and reducing crashes.”

The changing views about marijuana in this country have lead to a rise in recreational use in a number of states. Naturally, it means that more people will be driving with the drug in their systems. While there will be a number of people who think they can handle driving high, many do not realize that the drug slows their reaction time and disrupts their motor skills - which can be a fatal miscalculation.

The NHTSA conducted a separate survey which found that people who use marijuana are more likely to be involved in accidents. The association plans to conduct further research on drugged driving.

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