It is a sad reality, but too many people’s lives are cut short due to impaired drivers. While most people think impaired driving refers to drunk driving, it is important to take note that it includes drugged driving too. There is a huge misconception that driving under the influence of marijuana is safer than driving while impaired by alcohol. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Drugged driving is just as serious and dangerous as drunk driving and is considered impaired driving.
Anytime a driver drives under the influence of marijuana, other illegal drugs, or prescription drugs, they are still driving impaired and no one form of impaired driving is better than another. This is because driving while impaired can lead to motor vehicle crashes that can end in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
The Seriousness of Drugged Driving
Drugs – even prescription drugs – can impair people’s judgment, memory, perception, alertness, and motor skills. These are all skills every driver needs to drive safely and responsibly. Unfortunately, many people assume that some drugs – like marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter drugs – don’t have the ability to impair drivers; however, the evidence speaks for itself. Thousands of people have died on our nation’s roads due to people impaired by marijuana and prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Although some states have legalized marijuana, it doesn’t mean that driving impaired by marijuana is safe. In fact, there are studies out about marijuana’s effect on the body and brain and how it can negatively affect a driver’s ability to drive safely. When someone is driving while impaired by drugs, it can increase their chances of crashing and endangering others.
This message is especially timely during the holiday season when more people attend social events or are depressed around the holiday time and turn to illegal or prescription drugs. What’s even scarier is that many people use drugs in combination with alcohol and still get behind the wheel of a car to drive to their destination.
Drugged Driving Facts
Some unsettling facts about drugged driving:
- About 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2010.
- Marijuana, cocaine, and some other drugs are involved in about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths.
- 3,952 drivers who died in crashes during 2009 tested positive for drug involvement.
- One in eight high school seniors reported driving after smoking marijuana in a 2010 Monitoring the Future Study.
Drugged Driving Is on the Rise
Because marijuana is legal in 23 states for medical use and it is approved for recreational use in four states, driving under the influence of marijuana has increased. Also over the years, prescription drug abuse has spiked. According to the most recent roadside survey by NHTSA, 22 percent of drivers tested positive for some type of illegal drug or medication. And according to a Governors Highway Safety Association report, 38 percent of drivers killed in wrecks had drugs in their systems.
All this information shows us that more and more drivers are getting behind the wheel of their cars impaired by drugs and other medications. Sadly, more and more lives are being claimed by drugged drivers.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to a drugged driver, please seek legal counsel. You have rights you need to learn about so that you can hold the wrongdoer accountable and collect the money you are due. Call the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 to speak with a trusted accident injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale in a free consultation today.