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Study: Drunk Driving Reduction Efforts Must Include Drug-Impaired Driving

Kansas man smokes a marijuana joint before driving.

Drunk driving is down, but drugged driving is becoming more common

Kansas has made many improvements to reduce drunk driving deaths; however, a new report says focusing on alcohol impairment may no longer be enough to keep that downward trend going.

Alcohol is still the leading intoxicant involved in fatal car accidents. But the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) warns that drug-impaired and multi-intoxicant-impaired crashes are becoming more and more common. Drugs that are an increasing factor in injury-causing and fatal car accidents include amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine, and zopiclone.

Whether it's due to alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs, impaired driving is reckless driving. And when people drive negligently, Warner Law Offices fights hard to hold them accountable. Our Wichita-based law firm has a reputation for successfully protecting the rights of car accident victims. If you were injured in a drugged-driving, drunk-driving, or impaired-driving accident, contact us for a free case evaluation to protect your rights and learn more about your legal options.

Drug use among drivers report

The NTSB report, "Alcohol, Other Drug, and Multiple Drug Use Among Drivers," analyzed years of data from five drug-testing labs around the U.S. Their goal was to get a handle on the prevalence of drug-use involved crashes and make recommendations to reduce the risk of impaired accidents.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • About 28% of drivers tested at the labs showed positive signs of having ingested two or more drugs.
  • Where information was available, 4% of drivers tested were positive for four or more intoxicants.

The most common combinations of intoxicants identified in tested drivers include:

  • Alcohol-only - 42.2%
  • Alcohol and cannabis - 14.4%
  • Alcohol and stimulants - 5.3%
  • Cannabis-only - 4.9%
  • Stimulants-only - 3.2%
  • Alcohol, cannabis, and stimulants - 2.7%

Kansas impaired driving data

Unfortunately, statistics and research about drug-impaired driving are lacking in Kansas. The state is among those that do the least driver testing for drugs, according to researchers.

In one federal study, cannabis was the leading drug identified in Kansas crash toxicology reports. While cannabis (marijuana) is being legalized or decriminalized in some other states, Kansas has held firmly against it.

What we do know is that Kansas has made strides in reducing alcohol-impaired driving. About 1 out of every 5 fatal motor vehicle accidents in Kansas involve alcohol, according to Nationwide, 1 out of 4 fatal accidents involve alcohol.


The NTSB made the following recommendations to reduce the risk of impaired driving accidents:

  • Improve drug-impaired driving laws and enforcement.
  • Ensure that driving safety is considered in the evaluation of prescription and over-the-counter
  • Enhance systems for documenting and tracking the incidence of drug use and driving.

We hold impaired drivers accountable

Victims of impaired driving accidents can have a difficult time proving their case. However, it's important to note that to recover compensation, you don't necessarily need to prove that the driver who hit you was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You only need to prove that they were negligent and caused your injuries. Because the standard of proof is lower in civil court, it's possible to win your case for damages even if the driver is not convicted of driving under the influence.

At Warner Law Offices, we understand what it takes to hold impaired drivers accountable. Our Wichita car accident lawyers conduct thorough investigations, interview witnesses, and gather expert testimony, among other necessary steps to build strong cases for maximum compensation.

We offer free case evaluations to those who are injured or lose loved ones in Kansas car accidents. At no cost to you, a member of our legal team will listen to the details of your case and help you weigh your legal options. There is nothing to lose. Contact Warner Law Offices right now to schedule your free case evaluation.

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