Car Crash Fatalities by Prescription Drug Use Increase

JOPLIN, MO.--- According to a study by the Public Health Law Research Program, a growing number of fatal crashes nationwide are being caused by drug use.

It looked at trends involving impaired drivers in deadly crashes between 1993 and 2010. Joplin police say they have started looking more for drivers that are impaired by narcotics whether it be prescription, over-the-counter or illegal. They say they take blood samples on all serious injury and fatality crashes and prescription drugs are something they've started to see increasing. They add that people may overlook the effects of taking these medications while driving.

"One thing that we really try to focus on is as we age, we tend to get prescribed more medications, the more prescribed, the more they interact with one another, and you have people that end up driving with impairment that have no idea that's even occurring," said Sgt. Rusty Rives, Joplin Police Department.

Pharmacists recommend you take a prescription or over the counter medicine at home first, to see how it will react with you.

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