REPORT - Measuring the Impact of Drug Impaired Driving

No Impaired DrivingThe Canadian Center for Drug Abuse and Addiction has released a report titled Measuring the Impact of Drug Impaired Driving. The report suggests that not enough is known about driving while impaired by drugs other than alcohol and its effects on people living in Canada.

What Canada does know about drug-impaired driving (DID) is concerning. Coroner and medical examiner (ME) reports reveal that nearly half of drivers who died in 2016 (most recent available data) tested positive for impairing drugs and police responses to DID incidents increased by 45% between 2018 and 2019.

The executive summary of the report includes an explanation of what the Center is doing to gather the necessary data:

Canada collects little to no data on injured drivers hospitalized from potential DID incidents, passengers and other road users involved in DID incidents and DID court cases. Furthermore, among the data Canada does collect, some are not collected in a standardized or systematic manner. Without more data from other sources and without improvements to data collection from existing sources, Canada is limited in its ability to effectively reduce DID.
 
In response to these gaps and limitations in understanding the effect of DID, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) started a multiyear project to develop a set of indicators to support policy makers, decision makers, and road and public safety practitioners addressing DID. CCSA collected information from DID experts across Canada. It then formed an expert DID Indicators Advisory Committee to review the evidence, provide practical expertise and develop recommendations for measuring the effect of DID.

One of the report authors, Dr. Jeff Brubacher, is also involved in a protocol to use leftover hospital blood from those involved in crashes to help gather needed information.

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