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Drugged driving increases risk of car crashes

Traffic safety advocates continue to focus on preventing drunk driving in the United States. While drunk driving is very dangerous and leads to many car accidents in Ohio and throughout the country, a new study shows that safety groups may want to address another risky behavior that is just as dangerous as drunk driving.

The new study found that individuals who drive under the influence of drugs are three times more likely to be in a car accident compared to sober drivers. Despite the dangers of drugged driving and the number of car accidents it causes, there have not been that many safety initiatives to prevent drugged driving.

Researchers are hoping that will change after more groups become aware of the dangers linked to drugged driving. Drivers under the influence of drugs have a much higher chance of being in a fatal car accident, according to the study.

Drivers who use drugs are twice as likely to get into a crash. Interestingly, drivers who use alcohol were found to be 13 times more likely to get into a car accident, according to the study. However, drivers had the highest risk of being in a car accident if they used both alcohol and drugs. These drivers were 23 times more likely to be in a car accident compared to sober drivers.

The study reported that the most commonly used drugs by drivers included marijuana, depressants, stimulant drugs and narcotics. Reports have shown that more Americans are abusing prescription drugs, leaving some traffic safety officials worrying that drugged driving accidents may only increase in the future.

Drugged driving is very dangerous and will likely continue to cause fatal car accidents in the U.S. unless traffic safety advocates and government programs start to address the risks of drugged driving and create programs to reduce accidents caused by drugged driving.

Source: HNGN, "Drugged Driving: Drug Use Linked to Increased Risk to Fatal Car Crashes," Julie S., Sept. 28, 2013

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