How Sober Are U.S. drivers? NHTSA Study Aims to Find Out

How Sober Are U.S. drivers? NHTSA Study Aims to Find Out

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is once again taking to the streets to gather data on drivers’ use of alcohol and drugs while driving. Drunk or drugged driving pose known risks both to the driver and to others on the road, but as many experienced San Jose car accident attorneys know too well, these known risks don’t deter some drivers from getting behind the wheel.

According to a CNN report, the NHTSA is gathering information directly from drivers by setting up roadblocks. Two such roadblocks in Alabama have already been conducted, and 60 more are planned in communities throughout the U.S. this summer.

Participation in the roadblocks is voluntary; drivers who stop at one are free to decline and drive on. Those drivers who agree to participate are asked several questions by NHTSA. The agency also collects breath, blood, and/or saliva samples from participants willing to give them.

The purpose of the roadblocks is to gather information about drunk and drugged driving in order to increase the effectiveness of NHTSA’s education, awareness, and prevention campaigns, according to the agency. The NHTSA notes that over 10,000 Americans lose their lives in drunk and drugged driving crashes each year.

The roadblocks were last conducted in 2007; over 10,000 drivers gave blood and saliva samples. The 2007 test results showed that 12.4 percent of the drivers tested had alcohol in their systems, while 16 percent had used marijuana, cocaine, or an over-the-counter or prescription medication.