Dallas, 07/26/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/
Most people associate impaired driving with alcohol. Police in most states also concentrate the bulk of their efforts to reduce impaired driving by focusing on drunk drivers. They use sobriety checkpoints and roadside breathalyzer tests to determine if a motorist has had too much to drink to drive safely.
Drunk driving is definitely a leading cause of car accidents, but impaired driving laws also make it a crime to drive a vehicle under the influence of drugs – both illegal and legal. An individual who drives under the influence of street drugs is responsible for any injuries he or she causes at the time of the accident. Similarly, if a prescription drug or over-the-counter medication makes a person too impaired to drive, he or she can be cited for causing the crash. Motorists who cause injuries by driving under the influence of drugs can also be held liable in civil court for the injuries and other damages they cause.
If you have been hurt by a negligent driver, it’s important to get help from an experienced car accident lawyer. Don’t wait to speak to a lawyer about your case. Get the help and support you need today.
Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs
Fortunately, drunk driving deaths have declined in recent years. Sadly, the number of fatal accidents caused by drugged drivers has gone up. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving accidents have declined by one-third since 2007. However, in a 2014 survey, nearly one in four drivers tested positive for a drug that could negatively impact their ability to drive safely.
Because most research looks at alcohol consumption and driving, there aren’t as many studies that focus on prescription drug use behind the wheel. However, researchers say some drivers may simply fail to realize how dangerous it is to drive while taking a prescription drug. Although many prescription bottles contain warnings about a pill causing drowsiness or other side effects, many people don’t think twice about driving after taking medication. This is especially common in people who take medication regularly. They assume it is okay to drive since their medication is prescribed for everyday use.
Other drivers assume that because a medication is legal, it can’t be illegal to drive while taking it. These motorists usually don’t realize that impaired driving laws encompass much more than just alcohol. In the majority of cases, a motorist whose impairment is caused by a prescription medication does not set out to cause an accident. Just because a person doesn’t mean to act negligently, however, does not mean they aren’t responsible for the injuries they cause.
For law enforcement, proving a motorist was impaired by a prescription medication can be challenging. Unlike alcohol, it’s not always easy to measure the amount of a drug in a person’s system. Furthermore, the same dose of a drug can affect people differently. For example, some people can’t tolerate any kind of prescription narcotic, as it makes them nauseated and overly drowsy. For other people, prescription narcotics don’t cause any negative side effects. Also, it is not always possible to test for the presence of every type of drug in a driver’s system. For these reasons, it’s often tough to determine whether an accident was caused by prescription drug impairment.
In some cases, even over-the-counter medications have led to serious accidents. Legal medications, such as antihistamines and drugs used to treat motions sickness, can cause severe drowsiness in some people. When a motorist gets behind the wheel under the influence of a substance that impairs his or her ability to be safe on the road, people can get hurt.
Illegal Drugs Are Also a Problem
According to researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, people are also mixing alcohol and illegal drugs together when they drive. In one study, about 70 percent of motorists who had alcohol in their system also tested positive for cocaine use. Nearly 55 percent of people who had alcohol in their body also tested positive for marijuana consumption.
Get Help from an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence? Don’t shoulder the burden of medical bills, property damage, and physical pain and suffering. Call the car accident lawyers at 1800 Car Wreck today to speak to a knowledgeable car accident lawyer about getting the compensation you deserve.
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