Estimated Prevalence Of Substance Use Among Drivers In Fatal Auto Accidents

"Overall, 23,591 (90.9%) of the 25,951 drivers who died within 1 hour of a crash in these 6 states underwent toxicological testing. Drivers who were tested for drugs were similar in crash circumstances to those who were not tested, but they appeared to be slightly younger (mean age = 39.4 (standard deviation, 19.4) years vs. 43.4 (standard deviation, 27.7) years), more likely to be male (77.7% vs. 75.8%), more likely to be involved in nighttime crashes (51.4% vs. 47.0%), and more likely to have been involved in a crash in the previous 3 years (15.7% vs. 13.9%) than those who were not tested.
"Of the 23,591 drivers tested, 39.7% were positive for alcohol, and 24.8% tested positive for other drugs. The prevalence of alcohol involvement was stable at approximately 39% from 1999 to 2010 (Z = ?1.4, P = 0.16). Alcohol involvement was more prevalent in men (43.6%) than in women (26.1%), but trends were stable for both sexes (Table 1). In contrast, the prevalence of nonalcohol drugs showed a statistically significant increasing trend over the study period, rising from 16.6% (95% confidence interval (CI): 14.8, 18.4) in 1999 to 28.3% (95% CI: 26.0, 30.7) in 2010 (Z = ?10.19, P < 0.0001). The prevalence rates of non-alcohol drugs and 2 or more nonalcohol drugs increased significantly over the study period in both sexes (Table 1). The prevalence of nonalcohol drug use increased significantly across all age groups (Figure 1)."


Joanne E. Brady and Guohua Li. "Trends in Alcohol and Other Drugs Detected in Fatally Injured Drivers in the United States, 1999–2010." American Journal of Epidemiology. (2014) 179 (6): 692-699. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwt327.