In 2012, 29.1 million people admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol. However, alcohol is not the only substance that is dangerous when mixed with drivers on the road. Drugs, both legal and illegal, can impair your ability to fully function as a driver. If your mind isn’t clear and you don’t have complete control over your body, getting behind the wheel can lead to serious car accidents.
Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs is an unspoken danger on the roads. According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 9.9 million people admitted to driving under the influence of drugs. There are organizations fighting against drunk drivers — and rightfully so — but “drugged driving” (DUI) is an issue that has fallen on the back burner of driver’s education, even though it is a top cause of car accidents.
How does driving under the influence of drugs cause car accidents?
Our firm’s car accident lawyers have seen the effects of drugs on the brain and how it alters perception, cognition, attention, balance, coordination, reaction time and various other qualities required for safe driving.
One common misconception is that drugged driving is limited only to illegal drugs. The fact of the matter is that drugs legally prescribed to a person can also alter perceptions, induce drowsiness or sleepiness and produce other negative side effects that are detrimental to safe driving. Many bottles actually contain warning labels that warn users against driving for a specific period of time after usage to curb the number of drugged drivers on the road.
What steps can people take to prevent drugged driving?
Because drugged driving puts people at a higher risk for crashes, public health experts urge people who use drugs and alcohol to develop social strategies to prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a car while impaired. Steps people can take include:
- Offering to be a designated driver
- Appointing a designated driver to take all car keys
- Getting a ride to and from parties where there are drugs and alcohol
- Discussing the risks of drugged driving with friends in advance
Call Our Lawyers If You’ve Been Injured In A Drug-Related Car Accident
At the end of the day, the decision about whether or not to drive under the influence of drugs rests in the hands of each car driver. The best we can hope for is that you will be aware of the consequences of DUI and avoid impaired driving altogether. We hope that will lead to fewer car accidents caused by drugged driving, making the roads a safer place for everyone.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident that was caused by a driver under the influence of drugs, call us now at 972-270-2222 for a FREE consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer. Since 1993, our Dallas law office has been geared primarily towards auto accident claims. We know how the insurance companies work, so let our insider knowledge help you in your time of need.