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Study: drug driving rivals drunk driving in causing accidents
09 December 2010 – A new study, ‘Drugs and Driving: Detection and Deterrence’ carried out by the OECD-associated International Transport Forum has concluded that drug driving accidents rival or surpass drunk driving accidents.
14 % to 17% of lethal or serious accidents are caused by drugs, especially by cannabis and benzodiazepines, the report states. The study which covered road-side tests, surveys and questionnaires distributed in 16 countries, details the relationship between drugs consumption and road accidents.
Jack Short, Secretary General of the International Transport Forum pointed out that “there is not one drug with one effect, but multiple drugs with multiple effects on the human body”, adding that it is difficult to dissect drugs such as medicines from illicit drugs.
The report’s recommendations concentrate on finding an international consensus on substances that cause road accidents, labeling medicinal drugs with warnings, placing more importance on road safety than on the prosecution of drug users, training enforcement personnel to detect drug use as well as investing in research on drugs and driving.
DRUID (Driving under the Influence of Drugs, Alcohol and Medicines), an EU-led research project as well as a study by the United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are currently under way to research the risks drugs pose to drivers.
An executive summary of the study is available here
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