Most Mississippi residents are aware of the opioid epidemic in the U.S. According to a recent study, the increased use may have an effect on traffic accidents.

The study utilized a national database compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For many years, the administration has kept statistics regarding accidents involving fatalities. The data includes information about whether drivers or victims had alcohol or drugs in their systems. Over 18,000 fatal accidents were analyzed.

The researchers found that the at-fault drivers were over 1.5 times more likely to have opioids in their systems. More telling is the statistic showing that opioids are now detected in far more crashes. In fact, researchers say that an at-fault driver with opioids in their system is now more than three times more likely today than in 1993.

Though the study showed a higher incidence rate, it comes to no conclusions as to whether the drug use caused or contributed to the accidents. Some researchers in the field caution that this information could make false or premature inferences. There may be a difference in cognitive effect between those just beginning an opioid regimen compared to those who have built up a tolerance, for example. However, advocates say the study does demonstrate the need to further study the impact of opioids on driving ability.

A research study such as this could provide some helpful background info for a personal injury attorney. However, nothing replaces a thorough investigation of the facts of a vehicle accident. When representing a crash victim, our office may consult with accident reconstruction professionals and medical personnel. Ultimately, George Ready will  help you or your loved ones obtain compensation for damages for any injuries.