Monday, December 12, 2016

Wisconsin reports 200% increase in traffic fatalities involving drugs; is it a national trend?

The opioid epidemic, which is particularly bad in rural areas, has led to an increase in overdose deaths. It's also leading to higher rates of vehicular fatalities. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says drugs were involved in 149 vehicle deaths in 2015, a 200 percent increase from 10 years earlier, Shamane Mills reports for Wisconsin Public Radio.

At the same time, alcohol-related traffic deaths declined 38 percent. Officials said that 25 percent of all people pulled over for impaired driving are on drugs, Mills reports.

Last year 35,092 people died in crashes on U.S. roadways, a 7.2 percent increase from 2014 when 32,744 fatalities were reported, says the U.S. Department of Transportation. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 10 million people aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs in 2013.

No comments: