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Drugs or alcohol a factor in more than half of fatal car crashes

Drunk driving car accidents are a major public safety issue here in New Jersey and around the country. Driving while intoxicated is one of the leading causes of traffic fatalities nationwide. From 2005 to 2009, over 20,000 drivers were fatally injured in a car accident and 57 percent of them tested positively for at least one drug. One out of every five drivers had more than one drug in their system at the time of the accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration analyzed data from 14 states including New Jersey, and found that more than half of the drivers killed in car accidents had drugs or alcohol in their systems at the time of the crash.

Nighttime accidents and accidents involving male drivers were more likely to have alcohol, prescription, or illegal drugs in their systems at the time of the accident. However, it was not possible to tell from toxicology screenings whether the drivers had enough of the substance in their system to be impaired at the time of the accident.

Researchers say that more testing needs to be done to determine the level of impairment or whether a drug interaction played a role in causing the accident. With alcohol, experts say that the levels found in blood are more or less directly tied to the level of impairment.

Drunk driving is a negligent behavior and drivers who injure others while intoxicated should be held responsible.

More information about victim’s rights after a drunk driving car accident is available on our New Jersey law firm’s website.

Source: CNBC, “Alcohol, drugs common in fatal crashes” September 6, 2012

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