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Drugs, alcohol significantly increase risk of fatal car accidents

In one of our previous blog posts, we discussed how marijuana legalization has impacted traffic accidents in Massachusetts. To continue that discussion, a new study found that driving under the influence of drugs increases the risk of being killed in a car accident. The risk increased for drivers who were under the influence of both alcohol and drugs at the time of the crash. 

The study found that drug use increases the risk of being in a fatal car accident. Combining alcohol and drugs only makes it more dangerous as drivers who combine alcohol and drugs are 23 times more likely to be killed in a car accident. 

Drugged driving has become increasingly more common in the United States. The study reported that 32 percent of drivers killed in car accidents had at least one drug in their system at the time of the crash. 

Drivers who use drugs are more likely to be in car accidents, and worse, drivers who use drugs are three times more likely to be in a fatal accident compared to sober drivers, according to the study. 

The researchers said that some drugs were more dangerous for drivers. The study found that the drugs with the highest risk of being in a fatal car accident were depressants, stimulants, narcotics and marijuana.

The risk of being killed in a car accident significantly increased for drivers who had drugs and alcohol in their system. The study found that drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs accounted for one-fifth of all drivers killed in car accidents. The researchers said the dangers of combining alcohol and drugs are known to be very dangerous for several health reasons. Now, the danger has increased as individuals who use alcohol and drugs before driving have the highest risk of being in a fatal car crash. 

The researchers said safety groups and organizations need to raise more awareness about the dangers of drugged driving as well as the dangers of using drugs and alcohol before getting behind the wheel to keep everyone safe on the road. 

Source: US News, "Drugged Driving Plays Major Role in Traffic Deaths," Sept. 27, 2013

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