Epidemic of Cannabis Related Drugged Driving Fatalities

Joanne E. Brady SM Senior Staff Associate Department of Anesthesiology Doctoral Candidate in Epidemiology Columbia University Medical Center New York, NY 10032MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Joanne E. Brady SM
Senior Staff Associate
Department of Anesthesiology
Doctoral Candidate in Epidemiology
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, NY 10032
Department of Epidemiology,
Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: The prevalence of non-alcohol drugs detected in fatally injured drivers in the U.S. increased from 17% in 1999 to 28% in 2010.  The increases are largely driven by the tripling in the prevalence of cannabis.
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer: We expected to find an increase in non-alcohol drugs. But the magnitude of the increase in cannabis is shocking.  If this trend continues, the prevalence of motor vehicle crashes with fatally injured drivers testing positive for non-alcohol drugs will overtake crashes with fatally injured drivers testing positive for alcohol in five years.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer: Clinicians should remind patients of the potential dangers of medication, marijuana, and other drug use on driving.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer: Future research should continue monitoring the epidemic of drugged driving and develop intervention programs to reduce injuries and fatalities resulting from impaired driving.

Citation:

Trends in Alcohol and Other Drugs Detected in Fatally Injured Drivers in the United States, 1999-2010
Joanne E. Brady and Guohua Li
Am. J. Epidemiol. first published online January 29, 2014 doi:10.1093/aje/kwt327

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