THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ACCIDENT CULPABILITY AND THE PRESENCE OF DRUGS IN BLOOD SAMPLES TAKEN FROM PEOPLE INJURED IN MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISIONS
Is a driver who has drugs detected in a blood sample taken after collision, more likely to have been responsible for the collision in which they were injured when compared with drivers who are drug free? The current study matches toxicology results with collision data. It has demonstrated strong relationships between certain drug classes with responsibility for collision, especially when multiple drugs are detected. Certain combinations of drugs appear particularly likely to increase collision risk.
Preliminary data was presented at the 2009 conference demonstrating that the presence of drugs in blood samples from injured drivers can be linked to responsibility for the collision. The study began in December 2008 to clarify the role of licit and illicit drugs and alcohol in non-fatal collisions. This paper analyses the data from July 2009 to June 2010.
Since the preliminary data was released in 2009, hospital practitioners have been asked to ensure that all drivers have blood taken after collisions. This has increased sampling of the alcohol and drug free control group and improved the validity of the conclusions.
The continuing study investigates relative risk of collision and the different types of collision associated with various drugs to determine their relative importance in developing road safety strategy.