Impaired drivers cause a lot of fatal accidents. In fact, according to recent research, over half of U.S. drivers who died in car accidents had drugs or alcohol in their systems when the crash occurred.
Illinois was one of 14 studies included in the study, which is of obvious interest to Chicago car accident lawyers.
Researchers using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted the study. The data showed that two groups of drivers were the most likely to have alcohol or drugs detected on a toxicology report after an accident. The first group was men. The other was those who drive at night.
The drug use detected was not only illegal drugs. It also included prescription drugs.
One limitation of the study is that states differ in the types of drugs they test for after fatal crashes. The co-author of the study, Joanne Brady of Columbia University, pointed out that more research is needed to develop more consistent findings.
It also remains to be established how combinations affect drivers' performance on the road.
Still, the basic point of the study is clear. Well over half - 57 percent, to be precise - of the drivers who were fatally injured from 2005 to 2009 had alcohol or some other drug in their systems. Indeed, one in five had multiple drugs.
Not surprisingly, alcohol was the most common drug. Marijuana was second.
The problem, of course, isn't only that impaired drivers are involved in so many fatal accidents. The other part of the problem is that tey kill not only themselves, but many others with whom they should be safely sharing the road.
Source: "Alcohol, drugs common in fatal crashes," CNBC, 9-6-12