The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this week released the findings of a new study on drug and alcohol use by road users involved in serious and fatal crashes as one of the deadliest seasons for impaired driving gets underway.
The NHTSA is kicking off its annual holiday season impaired-driving campaign, raising awareness of the dangers of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The high-visibility enforcement campaign runs through January 1. In December 2020, traffic crashes involving an impaired driver killed 937 people.
As part of the high-visibility enforcement efforts, law enforcement officers nationwide will be vigilant in their communities to get impaired drivers off the roads, with efforts such as sobriety checkpoints and community outreach.
The NHTSA's new study found:
- Fifty-six percent of seriously or fatally injured road users tested positive for alcohol, or some type of drug known to have potentially impairing effects.
- The presence of cannabinoids (25%) and alcohol (23%) were most prevalent, followed by stimulants (11%) and opioids (9%).
- The presence of two or more drugs was reported in 18% of cases with serious injuries and 32% of the fatalities.
If you see an impaired driver on the road, call 911.