Opioids and Marijuana Are Now on Par with Alcohol in Levels of Driver Impairment
Opioids and Marijuana Are Now on Par with Alcohol in Levels of Driver Impairment

Drugged driving is on the rise, and it puts drivers, passengers, and others who share the road at risk.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, pot and opioids cause nearly as many driver deaths as does alcohol. In their recently released report, Drug Impaired Driving: Marijuana and Opioids Raise Critical Issues for States, the GHSA cited a recent study that showed that in 2016, 44 percent of drivers killed in crashes tested positive for drugs, up from 28 percent a decade earlier. And among those who tested positive for drugs, 38 percent tested positive for marijuana, 16 percent had opioids in their system, and 4 percent tested positive for both marijuana and opioids.

While drunk driving still threatens American roadway safety, the number of drunk drivers killed in crashes dropped slightly over 10 years, falling from 41 percent …

This Mobile App Could Test Driver Impairment
This Mobile App Could Test Driver Impairment

When the police ask you to take a Breathalyzer test, it’s usually already too late. The damage — sometimes property damage, sometimes injury or loss of life — has already been done. But what if there were a way you could tell if you were impaired before you got behind the wheel? Well, there’s an app for that.

DRUID is one of a recent (and ever-growing) crop of phone-based applications that allow drivers to measure their level of impairment before they turn the key.

How It Works

DRUID, which was specifically formulated to measure impairment from marijuana, asks users to complete a series of cognitive and physical tasks while sober to establish a baseline performance score. Reaction time, decision making, hand-eye coordination, balance and time estimation are measured while the user’s attention is divided.

This score is then compared to …

Pedestrian Safety Could Be a Concern in a World of Self-Driving Vehicles
Pedestrian Safety Could Be a Concern in a World of Self-Driving Vehicles

Car-for-hire service Uber has been testing self-driving cars for a few years in some U.S. cities, including Tempe, Ariz. But Arizona’s governor issued an order prohibiting Uber from operating self-driving cars after a March accident that killed a pedestrian.

Tempe police released video of the accident, captured by the Uber vehicle’s forward-facing camera. The video shows an empty road until the pedestrian enters the frame. Inside the car was an Uber “developmental vehicle operator” – an employee who is supposed to take command of the car in an emergency. But footage from the car’s dash camera showed that the backup operator was looking down at the time of the crash.

The Tempe crash raises numerous questions about the safety of self-driving cars, chiefly: Why didn’t the car “see” the pedestrian as she entered the roadway, and to what …

How Safety Features Might Make Us Worse Drivers
How Safety Features Might Make Us Worse Drivers

Lane-departure warning systems and rear-facing backup cameras are just a few innovations that can help keep drivers safe. But it’s possible that vehicle safety features may be having the opposite effect for some drivers.

Drivers may be relying too heavily on technology to keep them safe. For example, a driving instructor in Canada said that someone told him they liked lane-departure warning systems, “… because I can keep texting.”

Safety features aren’t meant to be a substitute for cautious driving. Even modern “autopilot” systems require some degree of driver attention and interaction. When drivers don’t understand how to properly use safety features – or the limits of those features – they could be at higher risk for a crash.

Lessons from Autopilot Crashes

In January 2018, a Tesla Model S struck a stopped fire truck on a Los Angeles freeway. …