New study proves drugged driving has overtaken drunk driving on nation's roadways

Submitted by Ingrid on Wed, 04/26/2017 - 09:20

According to a new study done by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which includes recent data on drug use by drivers and drug involvement in crashes, new state laws and programs, and information from more than 30 additional research studies, in 2015 drugs were present in 43% of the fatally-injured drivers with known test results, appearing more frequently than alcohol.

How is drugged driving defined legally in Georgia?

This got me thinking about how Georgia stacks up compared to these national statistics. Georgia law makes it a crime for an individual to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drug to such a degree that it becomes less safe for the individual to operate a motor vehicle, or if an individual operates a motor vehicle with any amount of a controlled substance in the individual’s body. Go here to learn more about Georgia law related to drugged driving.

How do drugs and medications affect driving behaviors?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drugs and common medications can cause drivers to experience:

  • sleepiness
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • slowed movement
  • fainting
  • inability to focus or pay attention
  • nausea

Any of these physical responses to drugs or medications make driving dangerous.

What does the new study recommend to reduce drugged driving?

The study recommends an increase in training for law enforcement officers to help them identify and arrest drugged drivers. Also recommended is for states to create a statewide task force to develop a strategic plan to tackle drugged driving. The report also recommends prioritizing accurate and timely data collection.