Car accidents in Maryland result in thousands of personal injuries each year and numerous preventable deaths.

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, Maryland residents and officials need to be paying closer attention to opioid-related motor vehicle crashes and fatalities across the state. Impaired driving crashes can involve the use of many different kinds of lawful and unlawful substances. However, opioids remain responsible for a high number of drug-related driving collisions.

Between 2006 and 2017, driving under the influence of opioids was a factor in 10 percent of all driver deaths in the state.

That statistic does not take into account the number of drivers and vehicle occupants injured; as a result of opioid use. The study highlights how, while national car accident rates have been declining; the rate of opioid-related traffic fatalities in the state of Maryland has not shown decline.

Yet what the study aims to point out is that the rate of opioid crashes has not increased significantly in the last 10 years; to be statistically significant.

Rather, while the opioid epidemic has worsened, opioid-related deaths have not risen in a proportionate fashion. As such, safety advocates need to continue devoting time to opioid-related crashes. Along with other types of impaired driving collisions.

According to Christine Murphy, a car accident lawyer in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the new study highlights the need to address how impaired driving impacts motor vehicle crash injuries. As well as, fatalities in the state of Maryland, and the need to hold drivers accountable for their actions.

As Murphy discussed, “impaired driving is a significant problem in Prince George’s County. Anyone who has been injured, or lost a loved one; in a crash involving a drugged or drunk driver should know that Maryland personal injury law allows injured parties and their families to hold these drivers responsible.”

The opioid crisis in Maryland, and throughout the country, is a significant problem in and of itself. Even without considering its impact on car accident deaths.

As the recent study points out, the opioid crisis is not going away anytime soon. The rate of opioid-related car crash deaths has not declined in proportion to the diminishing rate of traffic fatalities nationwide. At the same time, we should not be lulled into thinking that other impaired driving crashes are no longer a problem.

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