According to a new research study led by Joanne Brady of Columbia University, more than half of drivers in the US involved in fatal car collisions had drugs or alcohol in their system at the time of their accidents. According to Brady and her researchers, men and those driving at night were the most likely to have controlled substances in their system.
The study, which appeared in the journal Addiction, was based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Researchers looking over the data found that between 2005 and 2008, 20 150 drivers were fatally injured in car accidents in fourteen states. Of these, 57 percent tested positive for alcohol of drugs. About 20 percent had multiple drugs or controlled substances in their system. The most common controlled substance found in these drivers was alcohol, but marijuana, amphetamines, and other stimulants were also found in some drivers.
According to researchers, men were more likely than women to be driving with drugs or alcohol in their system. Less than half of women fatally killed in car accidents had controlled substances in their system at the time of their traffic accident, compared to sixty percent of men. The records did not show how much of a drug drivers had in their system, so according to researchers it is impossible to tell how impaired by drugs the drivers were, and whether any prescription drugs found in drivers were being taken correctly.
In Florida, since the 1980s, groups such as MADD and law enforcement agencies have launched enforcement and education initiatives aimed at reducing the number of Miami drunk driving accidents on the roads. Drivers are well aware of the risks of drugs and alcohol in increasing the risk of a Miami car accident. Nevertheless, as the newest study suggests, many drivers are still making poor choices when it comes to controlled substances and driving.
More can be done to prevent Miami traffic accidents caused by substance abuse. While Brady and her research team did not make specific recommendations based on the findings, the study itself does suggest a number of possibilities. For example, since impaired driving collisions seem more likely at night, perhaps more can be done to provide low-cost and accessible transportation options for drivers in the evenings and at night. In addition, since men are more likely than women to drive impaired, perhaps education and prevention campaigns aimed at reducing Miami truck accidents and car accidents can be tailored at men.