• Jessica Colarossi

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    Jessica Colarossi

    Jessica Colarossi is a science writer for The Brink. She graduated with a BS in journalism from Emerson College in 2016, with focuses on environmental studies and publishing. While a student, she interned at ThinkProgress in Washington, D.C., where she wrote over 30 stories, most of them relating to climate change, coral reefs, and women’s health. Profile

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There are 5 comments on Deadly Car Accidents Involving Cannabis and Alcohol Have Doubled in 20 Years

  1. Please consider revising the headline of this story to use “crash” instead of “accident.” The AP Style Guide recommends as much: https://twitter.com/APStylebook/status/716273992638853120

    And, there’s social science data out there indicating that the use of “accident” has a real-world impact on how people respond to these tragedies, implying that nothing can be done, when in reality, most of these “accidents” are the result of deliberate policy choices to design an unsafe transportation system that facilitates and encourages driving under the influence:
    https://twitter.com/KMRalph/status/1195346550790201344

  2. There are two very simple solutions to this problem.

    One is a mandate for a smart car technology that will let the car start only after testing for intoxication. All you need is a chip for the car and a plugin tester for the phone.

    The other and a more permanent solution is vaccination against intoxication. For example, alcohol consumption triggers the production of alcohol dehydrogenase. A vaccine against this protein will trigger a strong autoimmune response in anyone consuming alcohol will most surely prevent any alcohol abuse in the future.

    1. This is an appalling take. Neither of these solutions are simple.

      The first idea is problematic for several reasons. One, who will take on the cost of retrofitting every car in America with such a device. And two, testing like you mentioned is already in place for some who have been convicted of DWI/DUI. This testing is subject to error rates that can prevent someone from driving resulting from incorrect readings. Extrapolate that out to the whole population and thousands of people wouldn’t make it to work, school, an emergency, etc.

      The second idea is somehow even worse than the first. A vaccine against alcohol is a dystopian vision for the future. Should a vaccine (or other form of biological modification) be given for every “detrimental” substance? That sort of view opens the door to a world without any drugs and any foods that aren’t “nutritional”. Taking away everyone’s right to do with their body as they please for the sake of no more drunk driving *sounds* like a good idea. Think about it for one a moment and you’ll realize this is an absurd “solution” that would create far more problems than it would solve.

      Just because the views you state have science and technology does not mean they are correct. I caution you to take into account how real people would react to such a proposal, and moreover, to think of downsides to such implementation.

  3. I’m curious as to whether external factors of the crashes have been taken into account as well. In scanning the link to the American Journal of Public Health Link, it seems that there is no mention as to whether car crashes have increased overall. Are there more cars on the road than 20 years ago? Has increased density been taken into account? Are the spots where crashes occurred known for accidents due to poor road design? It looks like the study reviewed the toxicology reports but do not seem to mention the additional factors or amounts of crashes overall in the 20 year span.

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