Interventions to Prevent Drugged Driving: A Systematic Review

Am J Prev Med. 2021 Jun 4;S0749-3797(21)00223-3. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2021.03.012. Online ahead of print.


Context: Literature suggests that cannabis legalization may increase fatal motor vehicle collisions. However, evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to prevent drugged driving is limited.

Evidence acquisition: MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Embase, SafetyLit, Criminal Justice Database, Transport Research International Documentation, bibliographies, and relevant gray literature were searched systematically through May 2020. Randomized and nonrandomized studies of preventive interventions measuring drugged driving outcomes were included. Evidence certainty was judged per Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation guidelines to designate quality ratings from very low to high.

Evidence synthesis: The search identified 11 RCTs and 17 nonrandomized studies conducted predominantly among youth (aged 15-25 years; n=33,711 of 37,117 active research participants). In the public, cannabis packaging with health warnings increases the knowledge about drugged driving effects (high certainty); roadside drug testing can reduce drugged driving among cannabis users (moderate certainty); media campaigns may increase deterrent attitudes and knowledge (low certainty); and state sanctions, including traffic offense criminalization, license withdrawal, and per se drugged driving laws, may have little or no effect on drug-related fatalities or injuries (very low-low certainty). For youth or previous offenders, motivational interviewing can prevent drugged driving and driver education programs can increase knowledge (moderate certainty), whereas drug abuse prevention, substance abuse treatment, and driver rehabilitation may prevent drugged driving (very low certainty).

Conclusions: Overall, there is evidence to support the interventions that may improve drugged driving knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. However, the impact of such interventions on measures of drugged driving-related morbidity and mortality is uncertain. Further research is urgently required to address these gaps in knowledge.

Publication types

  • Review