2013-2014 National Roadside Study of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers: Methodology

This report describes the methodology for the National Roadside Study (NRS), a national field study to estimate the prevalence of alcohol-, drug-, and alcohol-plus-drug-involved driving primarily among nighttime weekend drivers, but also daytime Friday drivers. This study involved randomly stopping drivers at 300 locations across the continental United States. The locations were selected through a stratified random sampling procedure. Researchers collected the data during a 2-hour Friday daytime session (either 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.) at 60 locations and during four 2-hour nighttime periods (10 p.m. to midnight and 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights) at 240 locations, for a total of 300 locations. Data included both self-report and biological measures. Self-report portions were funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). An objective was to obtain at least 7,500 oral fluid samples for analysis. Oral fluid and blood samples were subjected to laboratory screening and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS; the term MS/MS is the combination of two mass analyzers in one mass spec instrument) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) confirmation respectively for alcohol and six classes of drugs, allowing researchers to estimate a national prevalence of alcohol and other drugs in drivers. This report describes the field methods used to conduct this study, including data collection procedures. The report also details overall response rates. Two additional reports will present the results of the data collection and analyses. One will focus on alcohol-use prevalence estimates among drivers and compare them with previous NRS results from studies conducted in 1973, 1986, 1996, and 2007. The other will provide drug-use prevalence estimates among drivers, including comparison to the 2007 numbers. This will then present the first trend data on on-road drug-positive driving in the United States. All drivers’ responses were completely voluntary and anonymous.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

    11720 Beltsville Drive, Ste 900
    Calverton, MD  United States  20705-3111

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    Office of Behavioral Safety Research, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Kelley-Baker, Tara
    • Lacey, John H
    • Berning, Amy
    • Ramirez, Anthony
    • Moore, Christine
    • Brainard, Katharine
    • Yao, Julie
    • Tippetts, A Scott
    • Romano, Eduardo
    • Carr, Katherine
    • Pell, Karen
  • Publication Date: 2016-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 183p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01609740
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT HS 812 294
  • Contract Numbers: DTNH22-11-C-00216
  • Created Date: Aug 25 2016 12:08PM