Drug Use of Fatally Injured Drivers has Increased the Past 5 Years Announces NHTSA

Drug Use of Fatally Injured Drivers has Increased the Past 5 Years Announces NHTSA

In a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) press release, the results of a new study demonstrated a rise in drug involvement levels among drivers that suffered fatal injuries in traffic accidents from the years 2005 to 2009. The study marks the first time data for deceased drivers in fatal traffic accidents and their drug involvement was analyzed.

According to the data, 21,798 drivers lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2009, and 63 percent of these drivers were tested for drug use. Approximately 18 percent or 3,952 drivers tested positive for drug use. The study also discovered that drug use among drivers that were injured progressively increased every year: about 13 percent was reported in 2005, 15 percent reported in 2006, 16 percent reported in 2007, and 18 percent reported in 2008.

The NHTSA data was gathered based on three categories: whether or not the driver was tested, what kind of test was conducted, and what the results were of the test. The variety of drugs encompassed in the study included over-the-counter medications, legally prescribed drugs, and illicit drugs; like stimulants, depressants, inhalants, narcotics, hallucinogens, steroids, phencyclidines (PCPs), and cannabinoids. However, the NHTSA cautiously noted that drug use does not necessarily mean the driver was driving while impaired, or that using drugs was the reason for a traffic accident.

By law, all motorists must operate their motor vehicle responsibly, and in a manner that won’t harm themselves or others. Unfortunately, however, this study by the NHTSA shows that not all motorists obey the laws that are in place for the protection of everyone on the road, including drivers, occupants, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Anyone who has been injured in a car accident in Santa Cruz that was caused by a negligent driver can pursue monetary damages for their injury and losses by filing a personal injury claim. Victims may be able to receive compensation for hospital bills, ongoing medical expenses, physical therapy costs, loss of present and future wages, vehicle damage, and more.

At Caputo & Van Der Walde, our San Jose car crash attorneys have a successful track record of protecting the rights of injured victims who have been involved in a car collision in Northern California. While you focus on recovery, we will build a strong case on your behalf and work hard to secure compensation that is fair and just for you. If you have been injured in a Santa Cruz car collision that was the result of another driver’s negligence, call our law office today at (800) 900-0863. We offer free consultations and will be able to answer your questions about your legal rights and options for pursuing a car accident lawsuit in Santa Cruz.