How Many Car Accidents Are Caused By Drivers Impaired By Drugs?

drugs accidents

Driving while impaired is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. Though the number of annual impaired driving collisions had decreased a few years ago, the numbers have been climbing again since the start of the pandemic. This is why it’s incredibly important to only operate a vehicle when sober and mentally able to drive safely. While most people worry about drunk drivers, car accidents caused by drugs might be more common than you think. To learn more, continue reading this blog or reach out to a San Mateo County, California Accident Lawyer for individualized legal counseling.


While many drivers are frequently reminded of the dangers of drunk driving, not enough people know just how dangerous auto collisions involving drugs are. A recent study by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in serious injury or fatal car accidents,

  • 25% involved a driver who tested positive for some type of marijuana
  • 25% involved a driver who had alcohol in their system
  • 11% involved a driver who tested positive for a stimulant (like cocaine or methamphetamines)
  • 9% involved a driver who tested positive for opioids

Furthermore, 32% of fatal accidents and 18% of serious injury accidents involved a driver who had two or more drugs in their system.


After any auto accident, someone will likely call the local authorities. If the at-fault driver is visibly impaired or intoxicated, police officers who arrive on the scene will perform a breathalyzer to test their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If the driver doesn’t have alcohol in their system, the police might require them to take a urine or blood test to detect any drugs in their system. The at-fault driver may also be arrested and charged.

California is an at-fault state for auto accidents, meaning the at-fault driver’s insurance should cover most of the damages. However, you can file a personal injury case to earn further restitution for your injuries. You might have a higher chance of winning compensation if it’s proven that the at-fault driver was under the influence of drugs.

Have you recently been injured in a car accident caused by an impaired driver? If so, you might want to speak with a dedicated personal injury lawyer who can help you to determine your best options moving forward. Thankfully, the Law Offices of Allister R. Liao are on your side! Contact our highly experienced team today for an initial consultation.

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