"Currently, one of nine drivers involved in fatal crashes would test positive for marijuana," said co-author Dr. Guohua Li, director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia. "If this trend continues, in five or six years non-alcohol drugs will overtake alcohol to become the most common substance involved in deaths related to impaired driving."
The research team drew its conclusions from crash statistics from six states that routinely perform toxicology tests on drivers involved in fatal car wrecks -- California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia. The statistics included more than 23,500 drivers who died within one hour of a crash between 1999 and 2010.
Alcohol contributed to about the same percentage of traffic fatalities throughout the decade, about 40 percent, Li said.
But drugs played an increasingly prevalent role in fatal crashes, the researchers found. Drugged driving accounted for more than 28 percent of traffic deaths in 2010, up from more than 16 percent in 1999.
Marijuana proved to be the main drug involved in the increase, contributing to 12 percent of 2010 crashes compared with 4 percent in 1999.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/health/topics/HealthDay684515_20140204_Fatal_Car_Crashes_Involving_Pot_Use_Have_Tripled_in_U_S___Study_Finds.html#u0YOMBvQ1md5bt4r.99The response of the marijuana apologists in the comments on an article summarizing this was that of course the number of fatal car crashes have increased, because more people are smoking pot. I guess that they missed the point of the article: more marijuana users are driving under the influence, and while alcohol continues to be a likely factor in 40% of the fatal accidents, marijuana has tripled, up to 12%. More importantly, the article goes on to point out that alcohol and marijuana combined are far more dangerous than either alone. (Why would someone combine alcohol and pot? One intoxicant isn't enough?)
How wonderful: we can take a situation that is bad with one legal intoxicant, and add another!