The Rise of Drugged Driving Leads to the Fall of Safety
Driving under the influence impairs a driver’s perception, slows reflexes, and confuses judgment. The result is a driver who is unable to appropriately identify situations on the road, unable to react accordingly, and unable to make proper decisions. Regrettably, despite these effects, millions of drivers every year get behind the wheel when they can barely stand.
Drunk driving is only one form of driving under the influence that can be detrimental. In fact, it can be argued that driving while under the influence of drugs is even more dangerous—to the driver, his passengers, and to other people on the road—than drunken driving.
Drugged Driving Keeps Getting High-er
“Drugged driving,” or driving under the influence of drugs, is an unsafe practice that is sadly on the rise both locally and nationally. According to a 2010 survey by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, 10.5 million drivers reported that they had driven under the influence of drugs during the preceding year—and these are only the drivers that admitted to the behavior. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration predicts these numbers will continue to rise.
The Driving Effects of Marijuana and Drug Use
Much the same as alcohol, drugs negatively affect a person’s ability to identify dangers, while also impairing reaction time. However, drug use can actually cause more dangerous effects on drivers, putting them at greater risk for accidents. Some of these effects include:
- Impeded motor function. In addition to diminished reaction time, heavy narcotics such as heroin and cocaine can create a severe impact on a driver’s cognitive function (how the brain communicates with the body), limiting movement and even causing spasms.
- Denial. With marijuana becoming decriminalized or legalized in many states, pot use has become more prevalent. Furthermore, as a result of the success in drinking and driving campaigns, people are using marijuana as a “safer” alternative to alcohol when getting behind the wheel. Many have a misguided belief that the signs of being high are less noticeable than the signs of being drunk. However, marijuana use is still illegal in Texas, and just as you can receive a DWI for drinking and driving, you can also receive the same charge for driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs.
- Overdose. Many street and prescription drugs present a greater risk of overdose than alcohol. Although alcohol poisoning is a very real danger, it takes a lot of drinking to get to that level. An overdose of drugs, on the other hand, can occur as a result of tainted product, wrong dosage, or even an unexpected reaction. If an overdose occurs while behind the wheel, the driver may not be the only one who is put in mortal danger.
When You’re the Victim
Suffering injuries because of someone else’s negligence is a bitter pill to swallow. Fortunately, you have rights and a seasoned attorney can help you fight for them. Visit our office today to learn how we may be able to help you receive compensation that can pay for your medical bills, vehicle repair, and time away from work due to your injuries. It’s not fair for you to be held responsible for costs associated with an accident caused by someone else’s drug or alcohol use. Let us try to get you the justice you deserve.