A comparison of drug use by fatally injured drivers and drivers at risk

Research has documented the prevalence of drug use among drivers involved in serious crashes. Although the overrepresentation of alcohol among drivers involved in serious crashes has been repeatedly demonstrated in numerous studies, relatively few studies have attempted to determine the magnitude of the risks posed by drivers who have used drugs. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which drugs may present a risk to road safety by comparing the prevalence of drug use among drivers at risk and drivers who die in motor vehicle crashes. Data on alcohol and drug use from coroners’ and medical examiners’ files on drivers of motor vehicles who died in crashes were compared with data on drug use among drivers who participated in roadside surveys in British Columbia, Canada conducted between 2008 and 2012 as a means to help establish the contributory role of drugs in driver fatalities. The results show increased probability of fatal crash associated with the use of alcohol or drugs and greatly increased risks associated with the use of alcohol and drugs in combination. Alcohol remains a primary substance of concern for road safety. Cannabis also presents increased risks for drivers as does the combined use of cannabis and alcohol. These findings will contribute to program and policy initiatives to improve road safety.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 96-100
  • Monograph Title: 20th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety Conference Proceedings, 25-28 August 2013, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01495644
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 17 2013 10:10AM