The 2021 numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed earlier estimates showing a 10.5% increase in deaths over 2020. The 43,000 deaths were the highest total since 2005.
Although the study authors say the results can't be used to gauge drug use on the roads nationwide, the high number of drivers, passengers and others with drugs in their systems is concerning.
The safety board recommends all new vehicles be required to have systems that can stop an intoxicated person from driving. A final decision is up to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
A new federal law will eventually require new vehicles to detect and prevent drunk driving, which would revolutionize vehicle safety. Here's a look at some of the technology being developed.