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Illegal Drug Accident Statistics

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Illegal Drug Accident Statistics

Illegal drug accidents are car accidents caused by the driver being under the influence of illicit or illegal drugs. Also called “driving while drugged,” these situations are included under DUI and DWI laws, which may differ slightly by state. Besides alcohol, illegal drugs are one of the main causes of all traffic injuries and fatal crashes. Many cases involve a mix of both alcohol and drugs.

Below are some statistics on illegal drug accidents. These are compiled from National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSUDH), as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • In 2012, around 10.3 million were reported driving under the influence of illegal or illicit drugs. This is includes underage drivers as young as 12 years old, and comprises about 3.9% of all adult and adolescent drivers.
  • Over 16% of nighttime weekend drivers were found to be positive for over-the-counter, prescription, or illegal drugs.
  • Over 11% of weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal drugs.
  • Studies show that male drivers are more likely than female drivers to test positive for illegal drugs or alcohol while driving.
  • Persons aged 18 to 25 are the most likely to drive under the influence of drugs than any other age group.
  • In 2009, a total of 18% of drivers who were fatally injured tested positive for at least one over-the-counter, prescription, or illegal substance.
  • Besides alcohol, THC from marijuana is the most common substance found in the blood of car crash victims, fatally injured drivers, and impaired drivers,
  • Approximately 4-14% of drivers who died or suffered an injury in a car accident had tested positive for THC.
  • Other drugs that are commonly an aspect of driving accidents include cocaine, opiates, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, and crystal meth. Of particular concern are opiates and opiate-based prescription medicines such as oxycodone, which tend to make a driver fall asleep behind the wheel.

When considering illegal drug accident statistics, it is important to not that over-the-counter and prescription drugs can also become dangerous if abused or used improperly. For instance, using the drugs recreationally or using them without a prescription is dangerous and most cases considered to be illegal.

Lastly, a combination of drugs and alcohol can be fatal. Many drugs have unpredictable consequences when mixed with alcohol. As such, one should take precautions whenever taking over-the-counter or prescriptions drugs.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help With Drug Accident Claims?

Drug-induced accidents are a leading cause of highway injuries and deaths. You may need to hire a lawyer if you or someone you know has been injured by a car accident. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and representation for your claim. Some drug accident cases may also involve criminal laws; an experienced lawyer can also help with these types of issues as well.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 05-16-2014 03:27 PM PDT

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