Drs. Fernando Wilson, Jim Stimpson, and José A. Pagán gain national media attention for their study, “Fatal crashes from drivers testing positive for drugs in the U.S., 1993 – 2010.” Published in Public Health Reports, the study concluded that approximately 46.5% of fatal crashes involved drugged drivers using prescription drugs in 2010. The study also indicated that while nearly three quarters of drugged drivers used alcohol and cocaine, prescription drugs had the highest increase in prevalence among drugged drivers since the mid-2000s.
From texting and talking on cell phones to eating while driving, researchers say distracted driving is a serious public health threat. Though motor vehicle deaths have been declining nationally, a recent study by researchers at UNMC found that deaths in pedestrians and cyclists are increasing. From 2005 to 2010, the national number of pedestrians struck and killed by distracted drivers went up from 344 to 500 — an almost 50 percent increase. For cyclists, the numbers killed went from 56 to 73 — a 30 percent increase.
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The Center for Health Policy strives for a high level of accuracy in all our work. Recently we discovered that our report on underage drinking, originally published late July 2013, needed revision to the prevalence data. This report was subsequently submitted for rigorous external review by the state health department and revisions implemented. The revised report, dated August 2013, is now posted here. The Center is confident that this report accurately represents the prevalence of underage drinking in Nebraska and can be a helpful resource for policymaking.