Drug-driving trend on the rise

New data has revealed a 260% rise in drug-related driving casualties between 2012 and 2021.

According to the Department for Transport (DfT), there were almost 2,500 casualties in relation to drug-driving in 2021.

Meanwhile, Criminal Justice System Statistics (CJSS) have disclosed that the number of drug-driving convictions has increased year on year, reaching 12,500 in 2019. Worryingly, nearly half (44%) of these crimes are perpetrated by repeat offenders, with many of these cases occurring within one year.

IAM RoadSmart’s survey of 2,028 motorists found that this problem is also set to deepen, with one in 10 respondents stating that they have driven or been a passenger in a vehicle where the driver has been under the influence of illegal drugs.

The survey also discovered that six per cent of people would be comfortable driving while under the influence of illegal drugs, and 14% of those surveyed stated that they would not stop a family member or friend who was planning to drive while under the influence of drugs.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “With cases surging and attitudes as they are, Britain’s drug-drive picture is a bleak one. IAM RoadSmart has already proposed a smart package of solutions to help address this issue, including developing a dedicated drug-drive course, prescription reform and for the government to finally release the outcome of its own drug-driving consultation.

“If these are actioned, we might finally see progress made on this critical road safety issue before more lives are tragically lost.”