May 02, 2017 09:06 AM EDT
A 2015 report shows that driving under the influence of drugs was deadlier compared to driving while drunk. Despite this, safety experts are still warning drivers to stay away from alcohol as it still a bigger problem while a research is still needed for drugged driving.
Drugged drivers who have positive drug tests were more common compared to the presence of alcohol among the fatally injured drivers tested last 2015. This information came from the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a nonprofit organization funded by alcohol distillers.
In an article published in CNN, of all people who are tested, 43 percent of motorists who died are drugged drivers. This is bigger than the number of motorists who died and also tested positive for alcohol in the same year, which is 37 percent.
"Data in the report showed that for the first time, there are more [drivers dead] for which we have test results that are positive for drugs than there are who were positive for alcohol, James Hedlund, an independent safety expert with Highway Safety North in Ithaca, New York, has said. The report also adds to earlier research conducted by Hedlund that checks behavioral highway safety issues like drugged driving.
Governing association executive director Jonathan Adkins said that there is a need to provide good examples for the drivers in order to solve the problem of drugged driving. "As states across the country continue to struggle with drug-impaired driving, it is critical that we help them understand the current landscape and provide examples of best practices so they can craft the most effective countermeasures," he said.
However, there are some who are skeptical of the new record. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety spokesperson Russ Rader said that drunk driving is still a bigger issue than drugged driving.
"There's no question that alcohol remains our biggest highway safety problem," Rader said. He added that the impact of drunk driving has been studied for decades while drugged driving has only been studied recently and the evidence is weak to suffice.
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