What is Drugged Driving? Part 1 of 2
What is Drugged Driving?
Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of any intoxicant is considered drugged driving. While alcohol and marijuana are the two most common causes of DUIs in the United States, they are certainly not the only ones. Drugs like heroin, methamphetamines, LSD, cocaine, and even doctor prescribed pharmaceuticals will significantly impair your ability to drive. There are some over the counter medications that can significantly affect your ability to drive as well. As a precaution, it’s always the right choice to consult your doctor about any medication you are taking to see if and how it will impact your ability to safely operate a vehicle.
Many people still believe that just a single drink or hit of marijuana won’t affect their ability, but even trace amounts of alcohol or other drugs is enough to alter one’s motor abilities.
How Many Accidents are Caused by Drugged Driving Each Year?
According to a 2016 study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, 20.7 million people drove under the influence of some substance, and 11.8 million of those people were under the influence of something other than alcohol.
While marijuana use is still illegal on a federal level, many states have legalized it for medicinal or recreational use. And with that increased legalization of marijuana throughout the United States, the rate of drugged driving has increased along with it. A study by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration revealed that states saw a 48% increase in drivers testing positive for THC.
How Do Drugs and Alcohol Affect a Driver?
All drugs, including alcohol, have an impact on a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle, and they all do so in different ways. A person’s body reacts differently depending on the substance that is consumed.
– Alcohol will affect the driver’s central nervous system, limiting their ability to make correct decisions and severely impact their coordination and motor skills. A few examples of these side effects can be blurred or double vision, slurred speech, and it can severely limit your ability to stay balanced.
– Marijuana affects the brain differently than alcohol and can result in memory loss, hallucinations, paranoia, and a loss of coordination. Driving while under the influence of marijuana will make any driver not only a danger to themselves, but other drivers on the road as well.
– Opiates can generate some of the same side effects as alcohol and marijuana, however, the use of methamphetamine or cocaine can cause one to become agitated, aggressive, and reckless, which ultimately lead to an incredibly unsafe driving environment.
If you or a loved one was a victim of drugged driving, contact the personal injury lawyers at Flager & Associates today by calling (215) 953-5200. We provide free case evaluations.
For part 2, click here. To learn more about the dangers of drugged driving, visit http://www.quitheroin.com/drugged-driving-statistics/ today.