Alcohol, Other Drug, and Multiple Drug Use Among Drivers

​​​​​​​​This safety research report examines the crash risk associated with different drugs, including alcohol, and the prevalence of their use among drivers; it also discusses countermeasures to reduce impairment-related crashes. To do this, the National Transportation Safety Board (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 laboratories that met strict standards for collecting high-quality toxicology data.

The NTSB identified the following safety needs:

  1. implement proven countermeasures for alcohol-impaired driving; 
  2. address the growing problems of cannabis-, other drug-, and multiple-drug-impaired driving; 
  3. improve drug-impaired driving laws and enforcement; 
  4. ensure that driving safety is considered in the evaluation of prescription and over-the-counter drugs; and  
  5. enhance systems for documenting and tracking the incidence of drug use and driving.

As a result of this safety research, the NTSB makes new recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; the US Food and Drug Administration; and the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The NTSB also classified two previous recommendations.


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