Federal and state officials have educated the American public on the dangers of drunk driving for years. However, the subject of drug-impaired driving doesn’t always receive the same attention. Prescription drugs, certain over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs can cause impairment while driving, either alone, combined or with alcohol. According to a survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 20 percent of drivers that were surveyed had tested positive for drugs for while on the road.
How Can Drugged Driving Lead to a Car Accident?
After states have recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, the drug is now the most frequently detected substance in a driver’s system after alcohol. In NHTSA’s Crash Risk Study, researchers determined whether marijuana use by drivers is connected to a larger risk of car accidents. The survey concluded that marijuana users are more likely to be involved in a crash, but this increased risk may be due to the fact that marijuana users are usually in the high-risk group anyway (young men).
Other studies, however, have conclusively found that marijuana can be dangerous when combined with driving. Marijuana can impair psychomotor skills and other cognitive functions. Another study by the Governors Highway Safety Association in 2016 found that among the fatally-injured drivers who tested positive for drugs that year, 38 percent tested positive for marijuana, 16 percent for opioids, and 4 percent for marijuana and opioids combined.
According to officials and researchers, alcohol-impaired driving and drug-impaired driving should not be treated as separate problems. Both are equally dangerous and can potentially lead to a deadly crash. If you are an injured victim of a drug-impaired car accident, you should contact a personal injury attorney who can potentially help you seek compensation. Contact Galloway Jefcoat, Attorneys at Law today at (337) 984-8020 for a free consultation.