Drug-related crashes on the rise

(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

Deadly drug-related crashes have outpaced deadly accidents involving alcohol.

A new report has found a significant jump in the percentage of drivers killed while on drugs.

The Governor's Highway Safety Association says in 2016 alcohol was involved in 38 percent of driver deaths, while 44 percent of drivers killed tested positive for drugs.

That's a jump from just 28 percent in 2006.

More than half of the drivers had marijuana, opioids or a combination of the two in their system.

"We definitely see states liberalizing marijuana laws, there are more prescriptions of drugs then ever before and we are in the midst of an opioid crisis," said Russ Martin, GHSA Director of Government Relations.

Many police departments have begun to train officers to better recognize drivers who are high.

Several states have started testing new devices like saliva swabs that can identify drugs in the system in an effort to prevent more deaths on the road.

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