One in 10 drivers has admitted to getting behind the wheel within 24 hours of taking illegal drugs, according to a new survey.
Road safety charity’s IAM RoadSmart’s study of 2,028 motorists showed that 10 per cent had driven while still under the influence of illegal drugs, which suggests that up to 3.5 million (of the 35 million with a full driving licence in the UK) have been behind the wheel after consuming drugs.
The survey found cannabis to be the most widely used substance of those admitting to driving after taking drugs, followed by those using cocaine, ecstasy (MDMA) and speed (amphetamine).
The charity’s study also showed that 14 per cent wouldn’t stop a friend or family member who planned on driving after taking drugs.
Data from the Department for Transport (DfT) also shows that drug-related collisions and casualties have increased by more than 260 per cent in the past decade.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “Our research offers a sobering insight into how Britain’s drug epidemic is rearing its ugly head on our roads. Illicit drugs can profoundly impair a motorist’s judgement, reaction times and alertness while driving, and some of the effects can last for days after a drug has been taken.
“But with nearly half of the offences being committed by previous offenders, and casualties increasing year-on-year, it is about time that the government took urgent action to address this issue before more lives are tragically lost.”