Across the country, number of drugged-driving accidents increase

The dangers associated with drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel of a car are well documented. Anti-drunk driving campaigns coupled with harsh drunk driving laws have helped raise public awareness about and curb the number of drivers in New York City who are arrested for DWI. While this is welcome news, a recent study by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association reveals that police departments across the country report an increase in the number of drugged driving-related accidents.

According to the GHSA, during 2013 alone, “40 percent of drivers killed in accidents tested positive for drugs.” While many drivers likely know that illegal drugs like cocaine and marijuana can inhibit a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, many may be surprised to learn that some prescription and over-the-counter medications can also affect a driver’s ability to process information and react quickly.

Anyone who plans to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle should be wary of taking any type of drug or medication that could impede his or her ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Even when taken appropriately and at a recommended dosage, some prescription and over-the-counter drugs can have adverse effects.

For example, many medications list drowsiness as a possible side effect. Likewise dizziness, nausea and vision blurring are also common and potentially dangerous side effects that can increase the likelihood that a driver will cause or be involved in a serious accident.

Until an individual knows how he or she responds to a specific medication, it’s wise to avoid driving. Individuals who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in which another driver was found to have drugs in his or her system may choose to contact an attorney.

Source: WWBT-TB, “Drugged driving is on the rise,” Rachel DePompa, Oct. 12, 2015


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