Drivers using prescription opioids twice as likely to trigger a fatal crash, study finds

Using opioids appears to double the risk that a driver will trigger a fatal crash, regardless of whether alcohol is in the mix, a new study by researchers at Columbia University has found.

The study, which analyzed records for each driver in fatal two-vehicle crashes over a 24-year period, found that more than half of the crashes occurred because the narcotics user had crossed the center line or in some other way failed to keep the vehicle in its lane.

Guohua Li, a physician who was the study’s lead researcher, said the findings demonstrate the ripple effect of the national opioid crisis.