We certainly know that drunk drivers are a major threat and outright scourge on roads across California and the rest of the country. Drinking and driving do not mix, and linking the two activities brings tragic results to high numbers of people in passenger vehicles — as well as for bicyclists and pedestrians — each year in the United States.
A new study drafted under the auspices of the Governors Highway Safety Association duly notes the perils of drunk driving, but also goes beyond that concern to underscore yet another road-related danger that is reportedly every bit as serious.
That is drugged driving, which research indicates is far more prevalent than many people might realize. The GHSA states that more than 15 of every 100 drivers providing blood and saliva samples to examiners in tests conducted in 2013 and last year tested positive for marijuana or some other drug.
Some of our readers might reasonably find themselves dwelling on that statistic for a moment and contemplating California roadway realities marked by heavy and constant flows of traffic. There are, obviously, a lot of motorists in California. If about one out of every seven drivers whizzing by is stoned or otherwise drug impaired, well … .
And here’s a tandem stat that many readers might understandably find troubling. As noted in a recent CNN article, The GHSA report indicates that about 38 percent of all persons who died in car crashes in the U.S. in 2013 “had detectable levels of potentially impairing drugs … in their system.”
Getting behind the wheel while drugged is obviously a national problem of material magnitude. Given the above-cited statistics, it would certainly seem to merit more attention from law enforcers and safety regulators.