A significant percentage of car and truck crashes across Virginia and the rest of the United States involves motorists driving while impaired. Impaired driving has become so commonplace across the nation that the National Transportation Safety Board is now calling on state and federal agencies to come up with new ways to counter the problem.
Per the AASHTO Journal, a report released in December 2022 details how alcohol and different types of substances impair driving behavior.
The report revealed that alcohol was the most detected substance in impaired driving accidents, with cannabis following behind it. The dangers of motorists driving under the influence of alcohol have been well-documented. Yet, motorists who drive under the influence of cannabis are a growing concern nationwide. The report also showed a steady uptick in the number of individuals driving under the influence of cannabis or alcohol between 2020 and 2021. The findings come on the heels of a separate report that shined a spotlight on how often impaired driving contributes to serious crashes involving cyclists, pedestrians or other drivers.
After the release of the report, the NTSB recommended that states beef up their impaired driving laws. The NTSB also recommended that products containing cannabis have labels detailing their impact on driving ability and that prescription and over-the-counter drugs that impair driving ability also have such warnings. The board also called for new standards for administering toxicology tests that show drug use in drivers.
How long it might take for states and transportation officials to make these recommended changes is unknown.