As more states legalize or relax rules related to marijuana, drug-related car accidents may increase. That's why the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to create universal rules to test for drugged driving. The board also asks that the NHTSA provide Maryland and other states with more insight into how it can combat drugged driving.
While there is no conclusive data as to how large the problem is, it is accepted that drugged driving is significant and getting worse over time. In 2015, 46 percent of drivers who were tested for drugs after being killed in car accidents were impaired, according to the NTSB. That is an increase from 30 percent who tested positive in 2006. While there is no universal test or device that can be used to detect impaired driving, the NHTSA has taken other steps to increase awareness of the problem.
For example, it has started showing ads that stress the dangers of driving while impaired by drugs. There have also been talks given in large cities such as Nashville and Baltimore. In addition to an increasing number of drivers using marijuana, data indicates that there are more drivers who are both using drugs and drinking alcohol prior to driving.
There are many consequences for those who are found to be driving while influenced by drugs. For instance, an individual may lose his or her license or spend time in jail. If an impaired driver harms another person, the driver may be liable for damages the victim incurs. Those who are charged with drugged or impaired driving may benefit from hiring an attorney. Doing so may make it possible to obtain an acquittal or a plea bargain to resolve the matter.