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Impaired Driving: A Growing Public Safety Concern

Impaired Driving: A Growing Public Safety Concern

Date: June 13, 2016

Impaired DrivingElizabeth Kemble, a widely admired advocate for kidney health in Oregon, was out for a walk following her third kidney transplant when she was killed by a driver who admitted to smoking marijuana minutes earlier. Debra Majkut, an Ohio mother of two, was sitting on her couch with her children and a nephew when a woman high on pot crashed into Majkut’s home, killing her and seriously injuring her infant son.

Nightmare scenarios like these are exactly what safety advocates predict will become commonplace on our nation’s roads as the list of states legalizing marijuana for either recreational or medicinal use continues to grow. But instead of clearing the smoke, conflicting studies and a patchwork of state laws have complicated this issue for all of us concerned about impaired driving.

Learn the latest here. >>>

By the Numbers


The number of drivers with marijuana in their systems grew nearly 50 percent from 2007 to 2014, according to a national roadside survey on impaired driving.

1 in 8

A recent study of high school seniors showed that one in eight admitted to using marijuana before driving.


Nationwide in 2009, 3,952 fatally injured drivers were tested for the presence of drugs; 18 percent tested positive. Download report

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Couric Follows the Path to Legalization

video thumbnailKatie Couric walks us through the change of mindset and laws surrounding the legalization of marijuana.
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New Simulator Tests Drivers on Pot

videos thumbnailA new, first-of-its-kind driving simulator is helping researchers study the effects of marijuana use on driving. View video.

Fatal Crashes Involving Marijuana Double

video thumbnailAccording to a new AAA study, fatal crashes involving a driver who recently used marijuana nearly doubled in the year since legalization in Washington state. View video.

Sneak Peek: Let’s Ride Safely

motorcycle outlineStatistics show that the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on U.S. roads. Next month: motorcycle safety. Learn more

More Drivers Using Marijuana

microphoneAn NPR investigation finds that more drivers are using marijuana, but experts can’t agree on what that means for traffic safety. Listen now

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