The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol are well-documented and understood, and people often take steps to avoid and prevent drunk driving. However, many people may not be aware that driving under the influence of controlled substances, prescription drugs, or over the counter medications can be just as dangerous. Concerns about drugged driving have increased in recent years due to a number of factors, including the legalization of marijuana for medicinal or recreational use by several states and the epidemic of opioid use that has affected people throughout the U.S. Drugged driving accidents are likely to result in severe injuries, and victims of drivers who were under the influence of intoxicating substances should be sure to understand their legal options.
How Common Is Drugged Driving?
It can be difficult to determine the total number of car accidents that are caused by drugged driving, since the amount of a drug that can result in impairment often varies from person to person, and drivers who are involved in accidents often have multiple drugs in their systems. However, a 2016 study found that 43.6% of drivers who were killed in car accidents were found to have drugs in their system. In addition, the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 12.8 million people reported driving while under the influence of illegal drugs within the past year. These statistics demonstrate that drugged driving is all too common, and it may be a factor in a growing number of motor vehicle accidents.
Effects of Drugged Driving
Different drugs can affect people in different ways, and they can often impair a person’s ability to drive safely. Some effects of commonly-abused drugs include:
- Marijuana – A person’s cognitive functions, perception of distance, coordination, and reaction time can be affected.
- Meth and cocaine – These substances can lead to reckless or aggressive behavior.
- Opioids – Prescription painkillers or illicit substances such as heroin can cause a person to become drowsy and experience memory loss and impairment to thinking and judgment.
- Sedatives – Prescription or over the counter sleep aids can cause drowsiness and dizziness.
While any of these substances can have a negative effect on a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle, the combination of multiple drugs can be even more dangerous. The use of alcohol in addition to drugs can severely impair someone’s driving ability, and this can lead to deadly collisions.
Contact a Green Bay Drugged Driving Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, and you believe alcohol or drug use was a factor in the accident, Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can help you determine your options for recovering compensation. We will help you establish negligence by the driver who caused your injuries and work to ensure that you are fully compensated. To arrange a free consultation with an Appleton car accident attorney, contact us at [[phone]].