Alcohol and Drugs in Fatally Injured Drivers

A study of toxological tests that had been performed on 20,150 fatally injured drivers revealed that about 40% had tested positive for alcohol and about 30% had tested positive for cannabinoids, stimulants, narcotics,and/or depressants. Almost 20% of the drivers had tested positive for two or more substances.

Fatally injured drivers were disproportionately more likely to have died in crashes at night and less likely to have been age 65 or older, female, or Asian.

The study used data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) for 2005-2009 and restricted analysis to drivers who had died within one hour of the crash in any of the 14 states that performed toxicological testing on over 80% of such drivers.


  • Brady, J.E. and Li, G. Prevalence of alcohol and other drugs in fatally injured drivers. Addiction, 2012, ePub, DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03993.x, PMID: 22725100.

Filed Under: Driving

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