Drugged Teen Drivers: A Growing Threat

Drunk drivers are not the only risk on the road. There has been a significant uptick in drugged drivers causing fatal accidents, and many of these drivers are testing positive for prescription drugs.

To complicate the issue further, the rate of prescription drug abuse among teens is rising, with 14.8% of high school seniors reporting that they used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes.

The combination of inexperienced drivers and prescription drug use could prove to be deadly. Here’s what you need to know about this disturbing trend.

Why Is Drugged Driving Dangerous?

Prescription Drugged Drivers

10.3 million teen and adult drivers admitted to driving while taking illegal drugs. What makes this such a big problem? Driving while taking prescription medication is dangerous because of the potential of these drugs to impair the very skills that are most important when you’re behind the wheel, namely motor skills, reaction time, coordination, and judgement. Teens see drugged driving as less of a problem than drunk driving, making them more likely to engage in this risky behavior. And because vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for teens between 16 and 19 years old, he bottom line is that combining prescription drugs and driving is a dangerous practice.

Who Else Is Driving On Prescription Drugs?

As the Baby Boomer generation ages, more and more of them are taking prescription medications legally. They are also likely to be taking more than one type of prescription drug at the same time, leading to an increase in fatal accidents. Researchers have also found an increase in older drivers mixing prescription drugs and alcohol. Drivers over 50 mixing marijuana with prescription drugs is also on the increase as a result of efforts to legalize and decriminalize marijuana.

A Nation of Drugged Drivers

In response to this crisis, there has been a push from the White House for new laws on drugged driving. There have also been increased efforts to educate drivers about the dangers of drugged driving, attempts to dispel the myth that drugged driving is safe.  Increasing the access to public transportation is another suggested solution for the drugged drivers problem.

Confidential Testing for Prescription Drug at Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City

Hopefully, drivers young and older will come to realize that drugged driving is every bit as serious as drunk driving. In the mean time, Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City offers walk-in drug testing services, including drug screens for prescription medications.

Contact us today or call (816) 875-0464 to find out about drug testing in Kansas City.


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