SWOV Catalogus


Drug involvement of fatally injured drivers.
20102060 ST [electronic version only]

Washington, D.C., U.S. Department of Transportation DOT, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA, 2010, 3 p.; NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts Crash Stats; A Brief Statistical Summary ; November 2010 / DOT HS 811 415

Samenvatting While data focusing on the danger of driving under the influence of alcohol is readily available and often cited, less is known or discussed about drivers under the influence of other drugs. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a census of fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States, contains a number of variables to describe drug involvement for those in fatal crashes. The Drug Test variable contains three linked elements (Test Status, Test Type, and Test Result). The Test Status element provides information on whether or not the person was tested for drugs; Test Type records the type of test (if one was given); and Test Result reports which specific drug (if any) was found. Up to three tests and associated types of drugs can be recorded for an individual. The drug groupings categorized in FARS are narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, cannabinoids, phencyclidines (PCP), anabolic steroids, and inhalants. Each drug within a group is specifically coded in FARS; for more detailed information on drug reporting in FARS, see the FARS Coding and Validation Manual (available online at http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811353.pdf under the “Drug Test” set of variables). The data presented in this Crash*Stats concerns fatally injured drivers, since their testing rate is higher than for surviving drivers. It is important to note that drug involvement means only that drugs were found in the driver’s system. Drug involvement does not imply impairment or indicate that drug use was the cause of the crash. Drug presence as recorded in FARS includes both illegal substances as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications, which may or may not have been misused. Unlike alcohol data in FARS, there is no measure of the amount of drug present. Finally, nicotine, aspirin, alcohol, and drugs administered after the crash are excluded. (Author/publisher)
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