Insurance Insights: Drunk and Drugged Driving
It is widely recognized that alcohol consumption impairs driving ability. However, it is less well known that impairment rises gradually at a lower level but rises dramatically at higher levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC). In fact, about half of automobile fatalities involve drivers with BACs of 0.16 or higher. Moreover, drugs and driving may be a larger problem than once thought. According to one study of drivers without alcohol in their systems who were stopped by police for reckless driving, 45 percent had marijuana and 25 percent had cocaine in their systems. When sleep deprivation and distractions (such as cell-phone use) are thrown into the equation, the driving public has every right to be concerned.
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Quick Tip: An Insurance Institute for Traffic Safety study of interstate tractor trailer drivers found that 15% of drivers had marijuana, 12% had non-prescription stimulants, 5% had prescription stimulants, 2% had cocaine, and less than 1% had alcohol in their systems.