Drunk driving accidents have long plagued society. Unfortunately, it is no longer the biggest threat on the road. Instead, that title now goes to drugged driving. The following explains the severity of the problem, and it provides some solutions for staying safe on the road. It also offers useful information on the rights of drugged driving accident victims, including their right to pursue compensation with the assistance of an experienced legal professional.
America’s Drug Epidemic
For years, health experts have expressed concern over the rising prevalence of prescription drug abuse. Of the highest concern is the opioid addiction, which is now thought to impact over 2.5 million Americans. Many of those who are addicted end up getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Some are so drugged that they literally pass out while driving. Others simply have impaired driving abilities. Either scenario can cause a serious or fatal accident.
Opioids are not the only drugs leading to drugged driving accidents. In fact, research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that marijuana is the drug most commonly found in the system of drugged drivers. Much like drunk driving, marijuana impairs coordination and slows response time. It can also decrease attention span, which is necessary for driving awareness. Again, the result of driving under the influence may be a serious or fatal accident.
Drugged Driving Surpasses Drunk Driving
While there is little information on just how many people are driving under the influence of an illicit or illegal substance, data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that at least 10 million people aged 12 or older get behind the wheel while intoxicated on something other than alcohol each year. Further, a recent study found drugs in the systems of around 43 percent of the people killed in highway traffic accidents; that makes drugged driving more prominent than drunk driving (alcohol is found in the systems of about 37 percent of fatal accident victims). Even at that rate, researchers suspect the problem may be underreported.
Staying Safe on the Road
Unfortunately, you cannot stop someone else from driving while intoxicated. However, you can try to avoid drugged drivers. If you see someone swerving in and out of their lane, moving more slowly than they should, or someone who seems to be behaving in a way that seems strange or erratic, take note of their license plate number, pull over, and call the authorities. If pulling over is not possible because of safety reasons, place distance between yourself and the other driver and then call the authorities as soon as reasonable.
Your Rights After an Accident
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a crash, contact Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, our Green Bay drugged driving accident lawyers will aggressively protect your rights. In every case, we pursue the most compensation possible. Schedule your consultation by calling 920-739-7366 today.