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Thursday 22 February 2018

30pc of death crash victims on legal drugs

'Of 115 studied fatalities - including drivers, passengers, pedestrians and motorcyclists - 34 of them, or 30pc, were found with prescribed drugs in their system' (stock photo)
'Of 115 studied fatalities - including drivers, passengers, pedestrians and motorcyclists - 34 of them, or 30pc, were found with prescribed drugs in their system' (stock photo)
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Prescription drugs including commonly prescribed tranquillizers are found almost as often as alcohol in people killed in road collisions.

Of 115 studied fatalities - including drivers, passengers, pedestrians and motorcyclists - 34 of them, or 30pc, were found with prescribed drugs in their system, a Road Safety Authority internal report showed. Benzodiazepines were the most commonly found drugs.

The report, obtained by RTÉ News under the Freedom of Information Act, also found that more than half of all victims had a positive toxicology result. The most common drugs recorded were alcohol, followed by benzodiazepines and cannabis.

A third of drivers who lost their lives had taken more than one substance.

The Irish Pharmacy Union urged drivers to be aware of the dangers of driving after taking substances.

Spokeswoman Caitriona O'Riordan said there were possible side effects from some medications and it was "vitally important" that, before driving, people asked their pharmacist if there was a possibility the medicine might affect their ability to drive safely.

Irish Independent

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