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Drugs play role in many fatal crashes

In many fatal car crashes in Georgia and across the country, drugged driving is a factor in causing the collisions. According to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, almost half of the drivers killed in car crashes had some kind of drugs in their systems, most frequently marijuana, opioids or both. In 2016, 44 percent of drivers who were fatally injured in car wrecks tested positive for drugs.

This was a significant increase from the previous figure in 2006 when 28 percent of drivers killed in car accidents tested positive for drugs. Of those who received a positive test in 2016, 38 percent had consumed some type of marijuana, 16 percent had some type of opioid and 4 percent showed signs of both in their blood. The report also noted that while drunk driving continues to be a major factor undermining roadway safety, alcohol is less prevalent as a potential contributor to fatal crashes.

In 2016, 38 percent of drivers killed in car crashes tested positive for alcohol, a decline from 41 percent in 2006. The report urges that similar action to the campaigns against drunk driving be taken against drug-impaired driving. These can include large-scale public awareness campaigns that shift public opinion as well as harsh law enforcement penalties. However, there are several factors that distinguish drugged driving from drunk driving. There is no generally accepted method to assess a driver's impairment due to drugs. There are also many different drugs that have the potential to cause impairment and would need to be tested for.

Drug-impaired driving can hurt not only the drivers involved but also others on the roadway. When people have been injured due to another person's impaired or negligent driving, they may wish to consult with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney may help them take steps to pursue compensation for the harms they have suffered.

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