UK "one of worst in Europe" for drug driving

08 June 2006
Car insurance firm More Than has warned that the drug driving problem in the UK is worse than almost every other country in Europe.

Figures released by the company show that over one in five (21 per cent) UK drivers have driven shortly after taking illegal drugs, a figure that the company argues is part of the reason for rising accident rates and therefore insurance premiums.

A worrying four in ten drug drivers questioned in the survey believed that their driving was not impaired as a result of taking drugs, or their behaviour was safe.

"Eighteen per cent of drivers killed in road accidents in this country have traces of illicit drugs in their bodies," said More Than consultant and independent drug impairment expert, Dr Rob Tunbridge.

"Many people just don't realise the effects that illegal drugs have on their ability to drive and to think straight, and this may be part of the reason why young people in particular continue to drive while impaired by drugs."

More Than have called on police to introduce roadside tests similar to those used in continental European countries, like Germany and Switzerland, to determine if drivers are under the effects of illicit substances.

The warning signs are that drug driving could become as big a problem in the UK as drink driving if left unfettered, which in turn will increase the risks of using the roads, driving up car insurance premiums.

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