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November 30th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Drugs common in fatal car crashes

A first-ever drug analysis of drivers killed in car crashes found one in three tested positive for drugs in 2009, the Office of National Drug Control Policy reported Tuesday.

Gil Kerlikowske, director of the National Drug Control Policy, said the percentage was alarming and should serve as a wakeup call.

“We have not paid very much attention to the drugged driving issue,”  Kerlikowske, President Obama’s so-called drug czar, told CNN. “It is a significant problem.”

Kerlikowske said he wanted to raise awareness not only of the dangers of driving under the influence of illegal drugs, but of getting behind the wheel while taking powerful prescription or over-the-counter medications.

As part of a Fatal Accident Reporting System, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration tests drivers killed in crashes for narcotics, stimulants, depressants, marijuana, hallucinogens, PCP, anabolic steroids and inhalants. These include illegal drugs, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines.

The presence of all types of drugs in fatal crashes has increased 5 percent in the past five years, according to 2005-2009 data, compiled and analyzed for the first time by NHTSA. Of the 12,055 drivers tested in 2009, 3,952 tested positive for drugs.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy did not provide a breakdown of the drugs found in drivers who died in accidents, but Kerlikowske said he suspected illegal drugs and frequently abused prescription painkillers were behind the increase.

The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found 10.5 million people aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the past year. That's about 4 percent of the population in that age range.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy figures released Tuesday do not suggest drug use was responsible for the fatal accident, nor do they implicate the driver who died. The report also doesn’t determine whether the increase might be the result of Americans taking more medications, generally.

In 2008, 48 percent of Americans said they had taken a prescription drug in the previous month, up from 44 percent a decade earlier. The use of five or more drugs in the preceding month increased from 6 percent to 11 percent during the same period, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

David W. Kaufman, associate director at the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, said the results were not inconsistent with surveys he and his colleagues have conducted.

“There’s no question that people are taking a lot of drugs, and some of these drugs might affect their ability to operate motor vehicles," he said. "I think it’s fair to say there’s more to worry about than people drinking too much.”


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soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. student economist

    I hate to be trite, but this is another blatant abuse of statistics. First, no increase in fatal traffic accidents is cited. I guess I am supposed to assume there is an increase and it is correlated with the increase in positive testing accident victims, but who knows. Then the article states a "5%" increase in "all types of drugs" was noted. Is this the listed "depressants, stimulants etc.." mentioned in the prior paragraph, or is it all types of drugs? (like ibuprofen) Also anabolic steroids is listed as a drug thought to be responsible for auto accidents, I have never understood this drug to produce an intoxication, but rather promote (dangerously) muscle growth. Finally, the increase in overall prescription drug use is likely indicative of an aging society - rather than some social breakdown. This article is very misleading, and actually has very little information in it. Oh well, its always fun to sound the alarm bells.

    November 30, 2010 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karen

      steroids also cause intense anger. road rage, maybe?

      November 30, 2010 at 09:21 | Report abuse |
    • kerfe

      affirmative

      November 30, 2010 at 10:42 | Report abuse |
    • GGooDeiMC

      Right on. I said the samething. This article is missing a lot of facts...no need to read.

      November 30, 2010 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Tiger Woods

      29% of the time I would ignore this post.
      That's a 13% increase over last week.
      55.3% of all reponses are made by someone. The rest are just made by someone else.

      November 30, 2010 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
    • Bmus

      You're missing the key points, its the first ever examination of driving accidents relating to illegal drug use, whereby we are used to seeing alcohol related driving accidents only. The incidents are not over and above the other accidents but a clearer indication of the non alcohol driving accidents which may be related to illegal drugs. A sidebar question how much of the accidents are related to legal drugs. The wholesale acceptance of drug use has a greater impact on society more so that people not doing drugs are directly affected in this incidence by drugged drivers. Another condemnation of open drug usage prevalent in everyday usage.

      November 30, 2010 at 11:03 | Report abuse |
    • mobrule

      yes, yet another half baked article. thank you, internet 'journalism.' cnn, is it too much to ask to have real journalists? please stop letting some intern write or edit.

      November 30, 2010 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • npucci

      @Bmus, I think this study showed the effects of all drugs, legal and illegal. The sidebar question is how many were cause by the illegal ones.

      November 30, 2010 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • Grieving

      Drugs and druggies are not a problem... until someone you love die because of it.

      November 30, 2010 at 11:16 | Report abuse |
    • student

      60% of the time, gov't statistics work everytime.

      November 30, 2010 at 11:18 | Report abuse |
    • tZink

      Absolutely!
      This is a heinous abuse of statistics. I wouldn't be surprised to find that 1 in 3 Americans regularly take one of the drugs mentioned. If that's so, they actually proved the opposite of their implied thesis–that people on drugs perform no differently behind the wheel than sober people.
      Also, collagekid hit it on the head: I foresee an Onion article in the near future with the headline: Over-Sober Drivers Cause 2/3 of All Fatal Accidents. Positive Drug Tests Mandated by NHTSA.

      This is embarrassing.

      November 30, 2010 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • steve harnack

      Very well put. You said everything that I was about to say. Even though the czar didn't have any facts to back him up he makes prejudicial statements to promote his bias.

      November 30, 2010 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
    • Chaz

      Yeah, we are all dumber for taking the time to read this

      November 30, 2010 at 11:44 | Report abuse |
    • Bulloch

      Obviously, you don't hate being trite all that much...

      November 30, 2010 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
    • Zulu Deaux

      (Sorry, this duplicates a response that shows up further down; I forgot to hit 'Reply').
      @student economist: Good points, especially re: aging population. If nearly half of the citizenry is using some sort of prescription(s), then it seems kind of obvious that more drugs would show up in accident stats, whether they contributed to the accidents or not. However, it IS in the best interest of the DEA and all of the LE 'task forces' to maintain a constant state of alarm. It's a billion-dollar machine for them.
      @Bmus: Remember, open drug use includes open use of the drug alcohol. Doesn't matter whether it's alcohol or marijuana or whatever; regardess, the use of impairing drugs while driving is illegal. I think the question that remains to be answered is, how much do specific prescription drugs (for example, antidepressants) impair driving? In our city we tend to see prosecution of drivers if they have ANYTHING in their systems, including perfectly legitimate prescribed medications. We need to know if that's right or not. I use several medications (for bipolar) just to get through the day, so my wife doesn't let me drive anymore. Fortunately we're in a position for that to work. I think most people's situations wouldn't allow it, i.e. not everyone has mass transit to fall back on.
      @Mrs. Tiger Woods: Hilarious.

      November 30, 2010 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
    • schuyler

      I agree with you. Especially considering how widespread drug use is it would not surprise me if the number of those who tested positive for drugs in car accidents was not close to the number of those who use drugs

      November 30, 2010 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      This article explains why I get stuck behind A$$ HOLES doing 10+ mph UNDER the speed limit!

      November 30, 2010 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
    • Pill Popper

      I take a pill every morning that is prescribed by my doctor. One week out of every month it is a placebo and that seems to be the time when I have the MOST road rage. I do take Midol during this time, does that count? Maybe they should make the sentence stiffer for the women who are caught driving while trying to avoid getting pregnant. If I stop taking BC pills and end up pregnant then I am taking prenatal vitamins (prescribed by a doctor) then I am still a part of the problem. What do I do?

      November 30, 2010 at 23:02 | Report abuse |
    • Student Economist is a retard

      WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This has everything to do with illicit drug use. Stop pretending like your world is so grand. It's not. Quite the contrary it is screwed up and getting worse by the minute. It has NOTHING to with population increase, or additional prescription drugs or any of that nonsense. Ask ANYONE, in ANY AREA of ANY COUNTRY and they will tell you that times are getting rough. Stop being so deluded you mental midget.

      December 1, 2010 at 14:52 | Report abuse |
    • Julian

      Almost exactly what I was going to say. Only thing I would add is that CNN's Senior Medical Adviser gave this the thumbs up to be printed which speaks very poorly regarding his understanding of what the Hippocratic Oath means. How could a doctor think that it is acceptable to mislead people into misinterpreting statistics? How could a doctor think it is acceptable to spread fear and suffering?

      "Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God."

      You have broken the doctors oath. To me you are no longer a doctor.

      December 1, 2010 at 20:00 | Report abuse |
  2. collagekid

    1 in 3 fatal crashes involve drugs. you know whats even more common ...2 out of 3 fatal car crashes don.t involve drugs

    November 30, 2010 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      Exactly...ban sober drivers, they're killing us at a 2-1 rate!

      November 30, 2010 at 10:42 | Report abuse |
    • h3110w0r1d

      At least you're intelligent enough to not twist the statistics unlike the loser that wrote this article. CNN is sensational and trash news at best, I have yet to read one news story on this site that has any bit of actual truth or research prior to its publishing.

      November 30, 2010 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
    • Bulloch

      What's more, 3 out of 3 fatal car crashes involve cars!! The problem is so obvious!

      November 30, 2010 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
    • What

      What are the weed guys going to say about this???

      November 30, 2010 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • Druggies are WORTHLESS

      Where are the pothead rejects? They always jump on these forums, when they are coherent anyways, and put in their worthless 2 cents and made up statistics. Hahahha.. bunch of morons that cant handle life.

      December 1, 2010 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
  3. Chris

    Way to tell us nothing, CNN.

    November 30, 2010 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. nixliberals

    Since prescription meds are linked to MORE sleep, why are they now linked to accidents from lack of sleep. These researchers should get more sleep and drink less coffee or their own over tired brains may link themselves to more studies about over tired researchers. LOL

    November 30, 2010 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Bob

    Another reason to have better mass transportation. Less drugged out people driving!

    November 30, 2010 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • h3110w0r1d

      Maybe they should have public transit for Sober people since they cause 2/3 fatal accidents.

      November 30, 2010 at 14:39 | Report abuse |
  6. David

    I agree with Bob take the Bus, Tram, Subway, etc. whenever possible

    November 30, 2010 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JS in Canada

      You might have a lower percentage of drivers of Buses , tram, or subway drivers under the influence, instead of killing just themselves or 2 or 3 passengers – you would have a larger number of dead or injured in an accident. May instances of bus drivers or train engineers under the influence with deadly results.

      November 30, 2010 at 09:49 | Report abuse |
    • the_dbs

      Ya, so instead they can run a train into another train because their text message was soooo important to read.

      November 30, 2010 at 10:27 | Report abuse |
    • mobrule

      omg lol! I ran like 3 lights reading this article, then had to text my bff about it. lololol

      November 30, 2010 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
    • Bulloch

      Have you ever rode on an American bus? Those drivers are almost always drunk....

      November 30, 2010 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
  7. Phil

    Test more than 12,055 people. You can almost always find data to support whatever it is you're looking for.

    November 30, 2010 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. JS in Canada

    According to the article "The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found 10.5 million people aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the past year," TWELVE years old???? Up here in Canada you can't get a drivers licence until at least 16. How many 12 year old crack heads you have driving in the USA???

    November 30, 2010 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill

      Just another example of how statistics can be manipulated. So much for the National Survey on Drug Use and Health! This whole article is BS.

      November 30, 2010 at 10:05 | Report abuse |
    • geeezzzz

      I was thinking the exact same thing! 12 year old drivers?? Really CNN??

      November 30, 2010 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • Austinite

      Ditto. I can't think of a state that allows drivers between the ages of 12-14. Some states do allow kids to get their licenses at 15 and drive with a parent or other driver over the age of 18. But, off the top of my head, most allow kids at 16 or 17 to begin driving by themselves.
      Do I believe that kids will use illicit substances while driving – yes? But is the proportion higher than in the rest of the population? And, are they prescription or illegal substances? You can make the stats say anything.

      November 30, 2010 at 12:57 | Report abuse |
    • GuerillaGorilla

      You can legally drive (under the supervision of an adult) at the age of 14 in Alaska.

      November 30, 2010 at 14:29 | Report abuse |
  9. Bill

    "The Office of National Drug Control Policy did not provide a breakdown of the drugs found in drivers who died in accidents, but Kerlikowske said he suspected illegal drugs and frequently abused prescription painkillers were behind the increase." What does that mean? Why is there no breakdown of the drugs? This article has no useful info all. Sounds like this "drug czar" is just another dope, pardon the pun. Prescription drugs have been abused for YEARS, and very little attention is paid to that fact. Why? I guess it is better PR to go after hippies, than it is to go after Doctors, the AMA, big pharma, etc..

    November 30, 2010 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • adam

      ABSOLUTELY CORRECT

      November 30, 2010 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      You are so right. Drug companies and off shore banks should be the issues we are arguing but instead our government and media likes take the eye off of the ball and focus on more social issues.

      November 30, 2010 at 12:43 | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff

    They will be creating another class of criminals. People who take necessary medication, but follow the instructions to see how it affects them, will be criminalized by blood tests. You may not be the cause of an accident or impaired but will be prosecuted because of your prescription. The terror and fear level of living in this country will continue to increase for fear of being prosecuted and having your name smeared all over the local new.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mamudoon

      As someone who is legally prescribed narcotic painkillers and benzodiazepines (I have severe arthritis and panic attacks), this concerns me a great deal should I ever be in an accident. I've been on these medications for years – I know how I react to them, and I know when I'm too impaired to drive for whatever reason. In addition to that, I live with my family (including my klepto brother), so I must keep my medications on my person at all times (lock boxes are useless for me because my father is a locksmith, so my brother will just take the box to him and ask him to open it).

      Thank God I've never been in any serious accidents, but that the thought that I could be charged with a DUI and/or possession because I'm LEGALLY prescribed medications that I use in a safe and appropriate manner scares me.

      November 30, 2010 at 12:41 | Report abuse |
  11. Andrew

    I wonder how many vehicles had cigarrettes in them?

    Or gum...

    November 30, 2010 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Greg

    Gil Kerlikowske, director of the National Drug Control Policy, is a dope just like the agency he works for. What a scam for a job.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. If you know...

    what a survey is supposed to provide, then you go get the funds and do it yourself, "know-it-alls".

    November 30, 2010 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. brent

    I agree, an article about....nothing, its like: what is the sound of one hand clapping grasshopper.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. That Guy371

    Kind of a lame un-factual (or low factual) article. Like one reader wrote, 1/3 accidents involve drugs – even more important, 2/3 don't. So what about alcohol? CNN, how about you write the article AFTER all the facts come in. Must be a slow news day.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Paul

    And who is pushing the drugs? Pharmaceutical companies..."Ask your doctor what Andrexia can do for you" the USA has about 5% of the worlds population and yet we ingest about 75% of the prescription and illicit drugs in the world

    November 30, 2010 at 10:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Soren

      You, sir, win at the pulling stats out of your a$$ game.

      November 30, 2010 at 12:11 | Report abuse |
    • cliff

      87.3 percent of statistics are made up on the spot. Thanks for proving that, Paul.

      I would prefer they test the blood of dead liberals to see what brain malfunction they suffered during their life!

      November 30, 2010 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
  17. NealR2000

    Unless the statistics are broken down into the types of drugs, then this article is useless. There's a huge difference between taking normal doses of aspirin, tylenol, viagra, paxil, etc, compared to drugs that can and do alter ones cognitive senses, such as marijuana, cold medication, ambien, lsd, etc. We live in an age now where the majority of people take daily doses of one medication or another. Simply lumping them all together is stupid. Just because someone involved in a fatal car accident was found to have aspirin in his system does not mean the aspirin had any effect on the cause of the accident.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Bobby Brune

    "The Office of National Drug Control Policy did not provide a breakdown of the drugs..."

    That information is the most important part of the story. Without it, the story – and by extension CNN – are genuine old-fashioned bullbleep.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Mike

    Yeah how many of these are alcohol related? Alcohol is a depressant and is included in this list. I just love how they don't actually say alcohol though, and then finish it up with a sentence saying "drunk driving isn't all we should worry about." Alcohol is in those numbers, and I'm sure it's the dominant drug.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. jacknyd

    Ban cars & trucks and ALL the driving problems are solved. First off it isn't the drugs that cause accidents, it;s the people driving the vehicles. If there on drugs or alcohol that is a contributing factor, but the responsibility still lies with the driver. So the driver caused the accident regardless of what he did wrong. I don;t believe in drugs or do drugs, but even if you get rid of the drugs accidents will happen. There is NO Way to stop accidents short of banning vehicles from the road.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Jess

    My takeaway here is that I should let my twelve year old drink and drive.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. CN

    What is the point of all the criticism of this article? The fact that a third of all drivers killed in car accidents in a single year were under the influence of some sort of drug, illicit or otherwise, is extremely alarming. This is based on fact not survey. Trying to justify your own drug use does not change the facts.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill

      This article is missing so many pertinent facts, if you don't understand that, just move on...

      November 30, 2010 at 11:12 | Report abuse |
    • GuerillaGorilla

      I am not an illicit drug user. I am however on a prescription for pain treatment. While the drug does not alter my level of cognizance, it is a derivative of an opiate and therefore will (and has) show up on a drug screen. Does this make me an illicit drug user, under the influence, out risking my life and everyone elsses I run across on the road. Your "black and white" biggotry is showing...

      November 30, 2010 at 14:22 | Report abuse |
    • Austin B

      then I guess you dont understand much about it....

      November 30, 2010 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
  23. Snow

    Who are all of these people doing drugs? I don't even know anyone who does drugs right now. I've worked with a few addicts in the past (they all ended up getting fired eventually) and had an addict neighbor once, but very few people overall seem to use drugs.
    Whenever you hear how much meth and coke they claim exists, I always wonder who is taking it all?
    At any rate, drugs combined with driving is just as immoral as drinking and driving.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Justin

      Just because it's not evident does not mean it's not there. I've known plenty of users/addicts/whatever in the past that could pass for sober when on drugs...

      November 30, 2010 at 11:36 | Report abuse |
    • James

      The article does not differentiate between legal and illegal drugs, that's what the complaints are about. I know very few people who *don't* take one medication or another on a regular basis. Legally prescribed or over the counter stuff for allergies, pain, ADD, depression, anxiety, etc. I know one alcoholic, and large number of people who smoke a little weed from time to time but nobody that I know of who I would call a junkie or addict. Either way the article has far too few details.

      November 30, 2010 at 17:11 | Report abuse |
  24. Sean

    Also, many tests for drugs, such as Marijuana, show use, not intoxication. The testable byproducts of marijuana stay in the body for weeks, well after any intoxicating effects have worn off. It is one thing to use a drug, it is another to be under its influence while driving. Imagine if a breathalyzer test showed you had a couple beers last weekend, and the send you up for Drunk Driving based on that test. Reckless driving, such as unsafe speeds, lack of signals, improper lane changes and tailgating are easy to spot and can be dealt with immediately, by removing the driver from the road. Most police have a basic training for spotting people under the influence. If this is about safety, find people driving poorly and pull them off the road.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kerfe

      that's definitely right deffers

      November 30, 2010 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
  25. eugene

    everybody takes a drug for something. Its the drivers who cannot drive cause the accidents. Pay attention to the road dude....

    November 30, 2010 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. AndyW

    This article is misleading in many ways as posters here have noted. First off the article and study do not say that drugs were the 'cause' of the accidents only that when tested for 'drugs' they were found. Considering the byproducts of smoking pot stay in a persons system up to a month after ingestion there can be no definitive correlation made there. Another matter that is not clear to me. If there is a fatal accident where it is determined that one driver was at fault and that driver test negative for drugs but the other driver, in this scenario the fatality, tests positive would that still be on this study as a fatal accident that involved drugs? This is just another case of the conservative government people telling us we should live in fear. Be afraid be very afraid.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. adam

    this is a joke of an article cnn should be embarrassed... what agenda are they pushing with this yellow journalism? there are so many holes in this ridiculous article i dont even wanna finish my comments...

    November 30, 2010 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Grumpyoldlady

    If anything, the problem is understated, as the referenced study only reports incidents where the drivers themselves were killed – a relatively small proportion of accidents. What stands out for me is that PERFECTLY LEGAL over-the-counter and prescription medications are just as impairing as alcohol or illegal drugs. And while some of these drivers were undoubtedly "abusing," probably the vast majority were taking the OTC or prescription drugs for a legitimate condition – a cold, allergies, chronic pain, etc. This pretty much rips the disguise of "safety" off our driving laws – since they criminalize "socially disapproved" forms of impairment while ignoring "socially approved" ones, they're nothing but social engineering. If safety were the real objective, then driving while in ANY impaired condition would be illegal, regardless of the cause of the impairment – not only alcohol or "illegal" drugs, but legal OTCs, prescription meds regardless of reason: driver distraction, lack of sleep, whatever. Impairment is impairment. The legal/illegal distinction is completely artificial and a distraction.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Billy Williamson

    THC stays in the fat cells and will show up on a test for at least a month, well after the affects have worn off. That alone shows how fatally flawed their statistics are.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Boka

    We as a society need to give our driving up and start using some sort of automated car system. Drugs use illegal and legal will only increase.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. wainwrightOG

    all this proves is that as a society we are generally overmedicated

    November 30, 2010 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Harryman2th

    Weird

    November 30, 2010 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Jim

    These stats are stupid. You could smoke a joint that's high last a few hours then get in a wreck 3 weeks later and you will still test positive for THC. Just keep feeding the ignorant population with propaganda to keep make sure you keep your BS czar job, you wouldn't want anyone to realize we don't need you.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. ROCKWOOD

    Although skirted in the article by the term prescription medications, many of the anti-depressants being prescribed to hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Americans can also cause issues.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. LUCAS .W.

    CRAAZZZYYYY.!!!!

    November 30, 2010 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Steve

    First, those of you who complain all the time about trash news on CNN, please scan in a copy of your Journalism degree or shutup. Second, all of you on drigs do the world a favor and overdose fatally today. The world will be a much better place without you.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MAK

      Put on your spell check.

      November 30, 2010 at 11:17 | Report abuse |
    • Jude

      Right, because we need a journalism degree to recognize the bs being pushed as news?

      Imma go do some drigs, anyone with me?

      November 30, 2010 at 11:39 | Report abuse |
  37. ricstir

    this is bs goverment propaganda , they know the public is gaining support to legalize Pot...and they dont want to lose the structure they have in place, they dont want change , and they DONT want to give Americans what they want...this is just the first of many new reports showing how bad pot is going to be now so they can keep it illegal...total BS...our goverment is a FARCE and needs to be brought down...tired of this crude

    November 30, 2010 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jude

      amen. i don't understand how EVERYONE doesn't see through this. They are scrambling, and it's just making them look pathetic.

      November 30, 2010 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
  38. J

    So 48% of Americans take some kind of med and only 33% of fatal accidents showed meds? That seems to argue against what they are insinuating.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. MAK

    It has been ignored, because of the pressure of a certain special interest group. A persons driving "Habits will remain the same whether they are driving sober or driving impaired, but a persons driving "Abilities" will not remain the same when they are driving impaired from when they were driving sober.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. JOHN

    they should have people take a drug test before they issue a drivers license, if they cant pass then you know whats next NO DRIVING IN THE US ROADS

    November 30, 2010 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. LUCAS .W.

    YOUR MOM SOOOO FAT HER CAR IS SPANDEX.....HAHAHA 🙂 lucas in canton,OH

    November 30, 2010 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. inciteful

    This article states, "The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found 10.5 million people aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the past year. That's about 4 percent of the population in that age range." Which states have a minimum driving age of 12? How is anyone supposed to take this "message" seriously when it obviously lacks credibility.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. matt

    "I think it’s fair to say there’s more to worry about than people drinking too much.” Seriously? you think fewer people die in car wrecks because of alcohol than drugs??? you need a reality check. go ride with a cop for just one night and let us know what you think then...

    November 30, 2010 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Pantyhose

    I was bumped in the rear by a man and now my pantyhose are running.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Jude

    Horrible, half-baked article. No scientific rigor, no real conclusion to be reached by statistics, just a lot of fear mongering and newsertainment. Thanks for wasting our time.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. AR

    My sister-in-law got into 2 accidents in one week (no one injured, luckily) due do her abuse of oxycontin. She was obviously high and the cops didn't even look into this. Unfortunately, another skate for her and still no incentive to get sober. (and I don't want to hear about how we could help. we've done 3 interventions, the last after an overdose landed her in the ICU for 2 weeks. no one can help her but herself, but at least the cops could have gotten her off the road. She, for one, actually wouldn't drive if she didn't have a license)

    November 30, 2010 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 1984

    what about driving under the influence of legal drugs? There all kinds of those. from muscle relaxers to pain killers to those given out for people who are in some kind of mental illness therapy. There is also over the counter meds that can cause reactions. Lets be careful people, we are on the verge of turning our country into a police state.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. bsitz

    "The Office of National Drug Control Policy figures released Tuesday do not suggest drug use was responsible for the fatal accident, nor do they implicate the driver who died."

    This needs to be said over and over, these figures will be used to fight things like legalization of marijuana. Even though it stays in your system for up to 30 days after use. Testing positive for the drug does not mean you are still effected by the drug. People take pain killers the night before and drive the next morning, they will still test positive for the pain killer!

    November 30, 2010 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. dhruv Vyas

    I'm not going to comment any further: This is the worst article i've read in 10 years.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Zulu Deaux

    @student economist: Good points, especially re: aging population. If nearly half of the citizenry is using some sort of prescription(s), then it seems kind of obvious that more drugs would show up in accident stats, whether they contributed to the accidents or not. However, it IS in the best interest of the DEA and all of the LE 'task forces' to maintain a constant state of alarm. It's a billion-dollar machine for them.
    @Bmus: Remember, open drug use includes open use of the drug alcohol. Doesn't matter whether it's alcohol or marijuana or whatever; regardess, the use of impairing drugs while driving is illegal. I think the question that remains to be answered is, how much do specific prescription drugs (for example, antidepressants) impair driving? In our city we tend to see prosecution of drivers if they have ANYTHING in their systems, including perfectly legitimate prescribed medications. We need to know if that's right or not. I use several medications (for bipolar) just to get through the day, so my wife doesn't let me drive anymore. Fortunately we're in a position for that to work. I think most people's situations wouldn't allow it, i.e. not everyone has mass transit to fall back on.
    @Mrs. Tiger Woods: Hilarious.

    November 30, 2010 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
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