Driving under the influence of methamphetamine is a serious road safety issue. Even in low doses, methamphetamine (including ice) can impair driving skills and can lead to speeding, erratic driving, high speed collision or increased risk taking behind the wheel. In Australia, it is an offence to drive, attempt to drive or supervise a learner driver with any illicit drug in your system. For more information refer to Laws about Ice and the factsheet below.
Get the factsheet: Ice and driving
A national 7-year study found that the rate of methamphetamine-related deaths doubled from 2009 to 2015 in Australia (Darket et al. 2017). Motor vehicle accidents were responsible for 9.5% (156) of the total number of methamphetamine-related deaths (1649). It should be noted, however, that other drugs were also present in most cases (e.g. opioids, antidepressants, sedatives and/or alcohol).
Evidence suggests that rates of driving while under the influence of illicit drugs are relatively high among regular users. In a recent survey of people who inject drugs regularly in Australia (IDRS 2017), 75% of the 888 participants who had recently driven a vehicle reported having driven within three hours of using an illicit drug. The most commonly reported drug (not including prescription drugs) was crystal methamphetamine (43%), followed by heroin (39%) and cannabis (36%).