Last year, 71 people were killed in crashes where a driver was found to have drugs or medication in their system, which may have impaired their driving. In a safe system, no one deserves to be killed or seriously injured because they’ve made a mistake, yet people are being killed or seriously injured because some drivers are under the influence of drugs. The likelihood of making a mistake is enhanced when driving while impaired by substances, which affect cognitive processing, reaction times and the perception of reality.
New Zealanders don’t readily identify drug driving as a common cause of road trauma; largely because they don’t hear much about it. It’s rare that a crash is identified in the media as having drugs as a contributing factor and it’s generally old news by the time the toxicology results come out. Yet drug-impaired driving is more commonplace than people might think, and we have to share the road with these drivers.
If you’ve been affected by drug driving and need support, please contact: