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Published on Sep 17, 2012 by Edgar Snyder

Study: Alcohol and Drugs Common in Fatal Crashes

alcohol-realted accidents

The effects of alcohol and drugs on a person's ability to drive have long been established. However, a recent study reveals some troubling news about the prevalence of drunk and drugged drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than half of drivers killed in car accidents had alcohol or drugs in their body. Researchers looked at over 20,000 fatally injured drivers between 2005 and 2009 and found that 57 percent tested positive for at least one drug at the time of their crash, while 20 percent had multiple drugs in their system.

The study also revealed the following:

  • 60 percent of men killed while driving had alcohol or drugs in their system, compared to less than 50 percent of women.
  • People who were involved in an accident on the weekend were more likely to test positive for alcohol or drugs than on a weekday. Additionally, people driving at night were the most likely to have alcohol or drugs in their system.
  • Alcohol was the most common drug, followed by marijuana and stimulants.

According to the NHTSA, there were more than 10,000 traffic fatalities involving a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 in 2010, accounting for almost one-third of all traffic deaths.

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"Alcohol, drugs common in fatal crashes: study." Reuters. September 9, 2012.
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