The history of coca and cocaine as a stimulant for travellers and drivers has been a history of increasing doses, increasingly effective routes of administration, and increasing incidence of accidents. When the German explorer Von Tschudi traveled to Peru in 1838, he found that chewing coca enabled him to climb to 14,000 feet and keep pace with the swift wild animals. Others found that coca enabled them to walk as fast as those who were riding mules or horses. Physicians throughout the world recommended coca for tired and exhausted travellers as did Abel Ballif, president of the Touring Club of France which organized tours by walking, bicycle, railroad, yacht, horse, and automobile in the early 1900s. The contemporary use of more concentrated cocaine preparations has increased the incidence of dependency, toxicity, and accidents. While the precise interaction between cocaine and driving behavior has yet to be determined, it is clear that many effects of cocaine intoxication and withdrawal represent potential impairment for drivers. Until the rules governing these interactions can be specified, cocaine users might be advised to follow the path of their historical counterparts and walk. Besides historical information, this article includes information on the incidence of cocaine use and driving accidents, patterns of cocaine use and driving, cocaine paraphernalia for drivers, and cocaine effects relevant to driving. Case examples are given illustrating typical driving accidents in which drivers have been identified as intoxicated with cocaine.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Brain Information Service

    California University, Center for Health Science
    Los Angeles, CA  United States  90024
  • Authors:
    • Siegel, R K
  • Publication Date: 1987-1

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00493559
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-040 259
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 30 1990 12:00AM