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Data shows an increase in drug-related fatal car accidents

California motorists may be interested to learn that the number of drug-impaired drivers killed in car accidents is on the increase. At the same time, the number of alcohol-impaired drivers killed is on the decrease. However, drunk drivers remain a significant threat.

In 2016, 44 percent of drivers who were killed in car accidents and tested for drugs in their systems tested positive, according to the Governors Highway Safety Administration. Ten years ago, that percentage was only 28 percent. Of the fatally injured motorists who tested positive for drugs in 2016, 38 percent tested positive for marijuana, 16 percent were positive for opioids and 4 percent tested positive for both. By contrast, the number of alcohol-impaired drivers killed in car accidents dropped from 41 percent to 38 percent in the same time period.

The association suggests that deterrents used to decrease alcohol fatalities might also be used to decrease the number of drug-impaired drivers killed in car accidents. However, the group points out that drug-impaired driving presents a unique situation. For example, there is no standard test to determine drug impairment. Additionally, impaired drivers are not always tested for drugs in their systems.

An individual who has been injured in a car accident caused by a drug-impaired motorist may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim. This compensation could include present and future medical expenses, lost wages and more. A personal injury attorney may be able to explain eligibility and the claims process as well as assist in obtaining a fair award settlement.

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