One out of every three young adults has recently ridden in a vehicle with a driver who was impaired by drugs. That’s according to a recent analysis by researchers at Colorado State University, with findings published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Furthermore, the study shows that for the first time, youth are more likely to be in a vehicle with a driver who is under the influence of marijuana as opposed to being drunk.
As our drunk driving injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale know, there could be a lot of different reasons for this. One is that this is one of the first studies to ask teens and young adults about the kind of substance used by an impaired driver, rather than just asking whether they were impaired at all. That said, there is good reason to speculate crashes involving cannabis-impaired drivers and those impaired by other drugs has risen, relative to the number of drunk driving accidents.
The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed nearly 21 million people 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol in the past year, while nearly 12 million drove under the influence of illicit drugs. Marijuana is the most found drug in the blood of drivers found in crashes – just after alcohol. Recent research seems to indicate marijuana may not be even more prevalent than alcohol in drivers involved in fatal crashes; However, we must be careful with that data because while the drug is present in the system’s of an increasing number of drivers, that doesn’t automatically mean it was a causal factor. Continue reading