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Fatal crashes caused by driver drug use are quickly increasing

A new report just released by the Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA) suggests that the number of fatal car crashes that can be blamed on drug use are steadily increasing. They're not all to blame on illicit drugs either. Motorists using prescription drugs are also causing these fatal crashes as well.

The latest data compiled by the GHSA from 2016 shows that drug use has outpaced the alcohol use as a leading cause of driver deaths. That same year, 44 percent of motorists tested postmortem had drugs in their system. Six percent less tested positive for alcohol.

Of the drugged drivers, the toxicology results for at least 50 percent of them showed that they had either opioids or marijuana in their system at the time of the crashes. Some even tested positive for both.

The director of the national nonprofit agency argues that there appears to be a direct correlation between the increase in the amount of states legalizing recreational and medicinal marijuana use and the increase in fatal crashes. He also notes that it doesn't help that this country is battling an opioid epidemic and that the market is flooded with prescription drugs now either.

One thing that he says states and the federal government could work harder at is trying to find a good way of testing drivers for drug use. He notes that the testing approaches that are currently available on the market aren't as easy to perform as either blood tests or Breathalyzers are. Instead, they involved officers using saliva swabs that can be tested in the field for the presence of certain drugs.

Impaired drivers are some of the deadliest drivers, as they lack the necessary motor skills to avoid crashes. If you've been struck by a drugged motorist, then a Chicago attorney can advise you of your right to file an injury lawsuit in your case.

Source: CBS Chica, "Fatal crashes linked to drugs on the rise," May 31, 2018

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