The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just issued the results of two drunk driving studies. Apparently, while drunk driving crashes have declined, there has been an increase in drugged driving across the U.S. The NHTSA has been working hard over the past few decades to increase the awareness about the dangers of drunk driving, and it shows. Unfortunately, there has been less of an emphasis on the dangers of drug use behind the wheel.
The NHTSA reports that one particular study, the Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, found that the number of alcohol-impaired drivers has declined by nearly one-third since 2007. They also found that in a 2014 survey, at least one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect safety behind the wheel. They also report that the number of weekend nighttime drivers with evidence of drugs in their system climbed from 16.3 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2014. Drivers with marijuana in their systems grew by almost 50 percent.
Using Drugs Behind the Wheel
Although illegal illicit drugs may be the first example to come to mind when you think about drug use behind the wheel, a number of totally legal prescription and over-the-counter medications can also be dangerous for drivers. From illegal drugs like marijuana and cocaine, to certain legally prescribed or over-the-counter pain or allergy medications, driving drug impaired puts everybody on the road in great danger. If you’re not sure if a medication you’re taking is dangerous behind the wheel, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Have You Been Injured by a Drunk or Drugged Driver?
After a crash involving a drunk or drug-impaired driver, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You might be in the hospital and out of work for who knows how long. Not only will you have medical bills piling up, as a primary or secondary breadwinner, you could be taking an extended unpaid leave of absence from your job. Rather than trying to figure out all by yourself how you’re going to make ends meet, let your lawyer be your advocate.