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NHTSA to hold summit on drugged driving

Car accidents caused by drivers who are under the influence of drugs are on the rise in New York and across the United States, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to do something about it. On March 15, the federal agency will host a summit designed to raise awareness about drug-impaired driving and develop solutions to solve the issue.

Two of the reasons behind the increase in drugged driving crashes are America's opioid crisis and the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana in many cities and states. In fact, federal statistics show that the rate of U.S. workers who test positive for using amphetamines, heroin and marijuana has increased in each of the last five years.

A representative of the NHTSA said that the agency hopes the summit will start a national conversation about the problem. It also hopes to work with attendees to develop strategies for collecting DUID data, enforcing DUID laws, accurately drug testing drivers and educating the public. The event is open to safety advocates, data and policy experts, law enforcement, legal professionals, toxicologists and other stakeholders.

Motor vehicle accidents that have been caused by a motorist who was under the influence of drugs at the time can cause serious harm to occupants of other vehicles that are involved in the collision. People who have been catastrophically injured often require months of expensive medical care and treatment, during which they are unable to earn a living. An attorney could help victims obtain appropriate compensation for their losses, in some cases through a settlement with the negligent driver's insurance company and in other cases through a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: EHS Today, "NHTSA Draws Attention to Drugged Driving", Stefanie Valentic, Jan. 25, 2018

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