Alcohol, other Drug, and Multiple Drug Use Among Drivers Safety Research Report

​​Opening Remarks:

Good afternoon, and welcome to our webinar to discuss NTSB’s recently published Safety Research Report titled “Alcohol, Other Drug, and Multiple Drug Use Among Drivers.”

My name is Tom Chapman. I have the honor of serving as the 46th member of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Impaired driving has long been a focus area of the Board. In 2020, nearly 12,000 [11,654] people died as a result of alcohol-impaired driving. Yet these deaths only account for alcohol. We know much less about the prevalence of other drugs. With the rapidly shifting legal status of cannabis, the opioid epidemic, and changing substance use trends emerging during the pandemic, it is more critical than ever to understand the effects of all drugs on traffic safety.

We cannot fix what we don’t know. For that reason, consistent toxicology standards are critical to addressing this problem and can help us foster the development of policy-based countermeasures and interventions. Consistent and high-quality toxicology data is important, and so are other tools such as oral fluid drug testing and electronic warrants. During this webinar, we will discuss these potential countermeasures and more.

Although the NTSB is perhaps best known for our independent investigations, we also conduct research, data analysis, and reporting on emerging transportation safety problems and crash and injury trends.

Today, two NTSB experts in the field of impairment, Dr. Jana Price and Dr. Ryan Smith, will share and explain their work, as detailed in our recently published Safety Research Report. They will also highlight the recommendations included within the report.

Dr. Price is a National Resource Specialist with our Office of Research and Engineering. Dr. Smith is a Transportation Research Analyst, also with our Office of Research and Engineering

Closing Remarks:

Dr. Price and Dr. Smith, thank you for joining us today. Your work is an important contribution in an area of great challenge, and I am especially impressed by the innovative approach to analyzing the presence of potentially impairing drugs.

Now, I invite you to please turn off your cameras and mute your microphones. As we near the end of today’s event, I want to offer a few closing comments. 

This has been a helpful and informative discussion.

We’ve long known about the devastating impact of alcohol-impaired driving. This report helps us better understand that impairment from other drugs, especially cannabis, is a growing concern that we must address. 

​Watch the event on NTSB YouTube