Guidelines for research on drugged driving
Article first published online: 15 JUL 2008
© 2008 Society for the Study of Addiction. No claim to original US government works
Volume 103, Issue 8, pages 1258–1268, August 2008
How to Cite
Walsh, J. M., Verstraete, A. G., Huestis, M. A. and Mørland, J. (2008), Guidelines for research on drugged driving. Addiction, 103: 1258–1268. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02277.x
- Issue published online: 15 JUL 2008
- Article first published online: 15 JUL 2008
- Submitted 16 October 2007; initial review completed 10 January 2008; final version accepted 22 April 2008
- illegal drugs;
- motor vehicle crash;
Aim A major problem in assessing the true public health impact of drug-use on driving and overall traffic safety is that the variables being measured across studies vary significantly. In studies reported in a growing global literature, basic parameters assessed, analytical techniques and drugs tested are simply not comparable due to lack of standardization in the field. These shortcomings severely limit the value of this research to add knowledge to the field. A set of standards to harmonize research findings is sorely needed. This project was initiated by several international organizations to develop guidelines for research on drugged driving.
Methods A September 2006 meeting of international experts discussed the harmonization of protocols for future research on drugged driving. The principal objective of the meeting was to develop a consensus report setting guidelines, standards, core data variables and other controls that would form the basis for future international research. A modified Delphi method was utilized to develop draft guidelines. Subsequently, these draft guidelines were posted on the internet for global review, and comments received were integrated into the final document.
Results The Guidelines Document is divided into three major sections, each focusing upon different aspects of drugged driving research (e.g. roadside surveys, prevalence studies, hospital studies, fatality and crash investigations, etc.) within the critical issue areas of ‘behavior’, ‘epidemiology’ and ‘toxicology’. The behavioral section contains 32 specific recommendations; (2) epidemiology 40 recommendations; and (3) toxicology 64 recommendations.
Conclusions It is anticipated that these guidelines will improve significantly the overall quality of drugged driving research and facilitate future cross-study comparisons nationally and globally.