Alcohol And Marijuana Are Primary Substances Detected In Drivers, NTSB Report Finds


The new report examines the crash risk associated with various substances and the prevalence of their use among drivers. These include alcohol, cannabis, prescription and over-the-counter meds as well as other drugs.

What Does The Report Say?

The report, conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and made public in a press release, also analyzes countermeasures to reduce impairment-related crashes.

“Impaired driving leads to tragedy every day on our nation’s roads, but it doesn’t have to,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy. “To create a truly safe system — one where impaired driving is a relic of the past — states and federal agencies must implement our recommendations, and fast. Further complacency is inexcusable.”

The NTSB conducted a literature review of impaired driving research, examined drug reporting in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System and performed an independent analysis of the presence of potentially impairing drugs in driver specimens submitted to four US labs that met strict standards for collecting high-quality toxicology data.


Alcohol remains the most frequently detected substance in impaired driving incidents and cannabis is the second most common. They also found that while alcohol is most often detected alone, cannabis was most often detected in combination with alcohol or other drugs.

Testing Practices And Protocols Need To Be Improved

The report also highlights that current testing practices and protocols need to be improved, which would help to better detect drug impairment and accurately report the prevalence of drugged driving.

The lack of standardized drug testing and reporting makes it difficult to understand the problem and develop policies that can reduce drunk driving, as well as treatment options for people with substance use disorders.

“We’ve long known about the devastating impact of alcohol-impaired driving, but this report shows that impairment from other drugs, especially cannabis, is a growing concern that needs to be addressed,” said NTSB Member Tom Chapman.

Recommendations in the report include:

  • ​A requirement that cannabis products have a warning label about driving impairment
  • Enhancements to state drug-impaired driving laws
  • Standardization of toxicology testing for the detection of drug use
  • Research on how to improve compliance with driving-related warnings on potentially impairing prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Nevertheless, some drivers still believe that driving while high does not affect their ability to operate an automobile despite warnings from law enforcement that the number of fatal car crashes involving cannabis has more than doubled in the past several years.

In related news, and marking the first-ever legal-marijuana state in the nation to take the lead on this important issue, Massachusetts adopted a curriculum called “Shifting Gears: the Blunt Truth about Marijuana and Driving,” to educate teens about driving under the influence of cannabis.

Get your daily dose of cannabis news on Benzinga Cannabis. Don’t miss out on any important developments in the industry.

Photo: Courtesy Of John Matychuk On Unsplash


Image and article originally from Read the original article here.