An Analysis of Illicit Drug Use and Motor Vehicle Fatalities Using Contiguous State‐Level Data

In order to determine the influence of illicit drug use on highway fatalities, regression models using data for the 48 contiguous U.S. states are estimated for the years 2009 and 2010. A collection of roadway fatality determinants are included in the models, as representative, but not exhaustive. Across age groups there is a variation in the way that illicit drug use impacts the motor vehicle death rate. Among the youngest drivers, there are statistically significant life-taking effects from marijuana use. Among older drivers there are comparable effects from the usage of cocaine and nonmedical pain relievers. Real per capita income and seat belt use are negatively associated with the highway death rate and statistically significant. For the ratio of rural to urban driving, temperature, speed limit, the percentage of older drivers, and cell phone usage, statistically significant positive relationships with the rate are found. The information provided to policy makers in this paper comes at a time of rapid change in state-level drug laws. That discussion benefits from these findings on the impacts of drug use on highway fatal outcomes.


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  • Accession Number: 01682090
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 25 2018 4:48PM