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Drugs and Alcohol Involved in Driving Fatalities

Published on Jul 14, 2015 at 10:55 am in Auto Accident, Personal Injury.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drugs and alcohol continue to be a major cause of Kentucky car accidents. The data shows that, nationally, drugs and alcohol were involved in fatal accidents, claiming 267,598 lives from 1995 and 2013, according to drugtreatment.com. Drugs or alcohol involvement accounted for 26 percent of all fatal car accidents over that time period.

South Dakota had the most fatal car accidents involving a legally drunk driver, 22.44 per every 100,000 residents. The next nine states in order were; Wyoming (19.02), Arkansas (18.68), Nebraska (18.54), Montana (16.85), Mississippi (16.42), Maine (15.12), Kentucky (14.98), Louisiana (14.63, and West Virginia (14.05).

North Dakota had the most fatal car accidents where the driver was under the influence of drugs, 8.03 for every 100,000 residents. The next nine states in order were: Wyoming (7.53), Montana (7.33), West Virginia (6.09), Kentucky (5.89), Arkansas (5.23), Vermont (4.56), South Dakota (4.20), South Carolina (4.07), and Alabama (4.05).

The study also broke down the fatality rate by county. In terms of drugs, the two counties with the highest number of drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs were in Louisiana (Tangpahoe Parish and Livingston Parish). More specifically, two counties in Hawaii account for deaths where the driver was under the influence of cannabinoids (Hawaii County and Maui County). Four of the five highest rates for drivers under the influence of stimulants were in California whereas four of the five highest rates for drivers under the influence of depressants were in Tennessee. Narcotics, inhalants, and hallucinogens saw much more varied data, with the highest rates being spread around many different states.

In terms of drug use, cannabinoids were most common in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest, whereas stimulants were much more common on the West Coast. The vast majority of fatal car accidents are the result of alcohol, drugs, and/or distracted driving. In 2010 alone almost 1.5 million people were arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence.

If you have been involved in a car or truck accident with a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol visit our frequently asked questions page for more information to help you protect your rights.

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Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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