By John Halikowski / ADOT Director
We follow trends in transportation. It helps to know whether we are seeing a decline or increase in traffic crashes or fatalities from one year to the next – and why. It saddens me to report that Arizona is seeing an increase in the number of crashes and fatalities associated specifically with impairment due to the influence of drugs or medications. This trend is one that we, as a society, need to combat and educate drivers about the dangers associated with driving impaired on our roadways.
Here are some somber statistics
: In 2016, drivers under the influence of drugs or medications were involved in 1,058 motor vehicle crashes that killed 99 people and injured 792. In 2015, there were 933 motor vehicle crashes that killed 77 people and injured 766 with drivers under the influence of drugs or medications. This trend is going in the wrong direction.
I believe ADOT has a responsibility to lend our support toward efforts that help educate the people of Arizona about the dangers associated with drug use, especially the opioid epidemic that has gripped our state.
The more we can do to educate our community to the dangers associated with drug use, driving impaired and its impact on our roadways, we will better off as a society. This effort will provide a trend in the right direction – reduced crashes and loss of life.
This post originally appeared on ADOT Director John Halikowski's
LinkedIn page. He has led the agency since 2009.