DRUG DRIVING: Tough penalties apply for drivers found to be using drugs.
DRUG DRIVING: Tough penalties apply for drivers found to be using drugs. Supplied

Thousands of drug drivers taking risks on our roads

RACQ is calling on risk takers who drive on Queensland roads under the influence of drugs to consider how their families and the families of others in a crash may cope with the tragedy.

Police Minister Mark Ryan revealed more than 12,000 motorists had tested positive to driving while affected by drugs in 2018.

RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said it was a shocking statistic and despite warnings and campaigns by road safety advocates, many drivers still took huge risks.

"Drugs effect the body and brain in so many different ways," she said.

"Not only can they impact your vision and coordination, but also your decision-making skills while under pressure -it's a dangerous mix when you're behind the wheel of a car."

Research suggests people who use certain drugs and drive have a similar crash risk to people driving with a blood alcohol content of between 0.10 and 0.15.

"We know cannabis and heroin slow a person's reaction time and distort speed and distance," Ms Ross said.

"Methamphetamines, like ecstasy, cocaine or ice, can lead to over-confidence, rash decision making and risk taking and hallucinogens can make a person sense things that don't exist."

RACQ encourages motorists to be conscious of the long-lasting impacts they could suffer if they were involved in a crash.