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Over Half of all Fatal Accidents Involve Drugs

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers. There were more than 10,000 traffic fatalities in 2010 involving a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent, equivalent to almost one-third of all traffic deaths.

 

Georgia's Driving Under the Influence Laws are complex. Clayton DUI injury attorney Shane Smith can sort through the intermingled laws that potentially create complications in a DUI case.

 

According to a recent study published in the journal Addiction, over half of all drivers killed in auto accidents had alcohol or drugs in their system at the time of the crash.

 

Researchers used NHTSA data on fatalities from 14 states and found that men and evening drivers were the most likely to have alcohol, marijuana or other illicit or prescription drugs show up on a toxicology screen after the accident.

 

The records did not show whether drivers had enough of a certain drug in their system to feel or act impaired or if prescription drugs were used incorrectly. This contributed to the limited study; additionally, not all states test for the same drugs after an auto accident.

 

The study reviewed 20,150 fatally injured drivers in 2005 to 2009. Of those, 57 percent tested positive for at least one drug and 20 percent tested positive for multiple drugs in their system at the time of the accident. Alcohol was the most common drug to show up on tox screens, followed by marijuana and stimulants including Adderall and amphetamines.

 

Sixty percent of men killed while driving had drugs or alcohol in their system, compared to 46 percent of women. People who had an accident at night or on the weekend were also more likely to test positive than those driving on a weekday. Blacks and whites were equally likely to test positive on a tox screen after a fatal accident. Asians were much less likely to have drugs or alcohol in their system, and Native Americans much more likely.

 

If you have questions about Georgia DUI laws, get the answers in Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's book, I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia