Why is Drugged Driving So Dangerous?

Drugged driving, or driving while under the influence of a controlled substance, can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Recently, a 43-year-old driver crashed into a bus and fled the accident scene while carrying cocaine. The man pleaded guilty to drugged driving, failing to stop after a crash accident, and possession of cocaine with intent to supply the drug.

When law enforcement arrested him at a nearby home, they found out he was carrying 13.5 grams of cocaine. Law enforcement suspects that he was under the influence of cocaine when he crashed into the bus. This is only one of many drugged driving accidents that demonstrate the dangers of driving while under the influence of illicit drugs.

Drugged Driving is Just as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

Being under the influence of drugs can make driving any vehicle unsafe, just like being under the influence of alcohol. When the intoxicating effect of drugs impairs a driver, he or she puts himself, pedestrians, passengers, and other drivers at serious risk. The results of drugged driving depend on the type of drug used and the quantity ingested by the driver. However, in most cases, drugged driving causes the driver to experience impaired judgment. Drugged driving also causes slow reaction times, especially with the use of marijuana. Drivers who are under the influence of illicit drugs also experience decreased coordination.

Many people assume that drugged driving only occurs when a driver takes illegal drugs, like methamphetamine. However, drivers who take certain types of prescription medication and drive can also create severe dangers on the road. Certain prescription medications, including opioids and benzodiazepines, can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and decreased cognitive functioning, all of which impair a driver’s ability to navigate the roadways safely.

When a driver has a prescription, they must follow their doctor’s instructions when taking the medication. Some prescription medications warn that the patient should not drive while taking the drug because it causes drowsiness. When drivers refuse to heed these warnings, they are liable for any injuries that occur as a result. Not all drugs cause drowsiness and a decreased amount of coordination, however. Certain types of prescription medications can cause hyperactivity and paranoia, which can be just as deadly for drivers and others on the road.

Causes of Drugged Driving Accidents

When a driver is under the influence of drugs, they often have an altered state of mind. Drugged drivers do not have the same kind of depth perception and reaction times as drivers who are not under the influence of drugs. The use of marijuana with alcohol can make drivers even more impaired, causing them to engage in unsafe driving behaviors like speeding and weaving in and out of lanes.

When drivers weave in and out of their lane, they are more likely to collide with another car in a sideswipe accident. Drivers who are under the influence of opioids can become drowsy and have impaired judgment or thinking. Some studies have proven that drivers under the influence of opioids are at double the risk of causing an accident.

Determining the specific cause of a drugged driving accident based on the type of substance the driver ingested can be difficult. Many drivers under the influence of drugs have multiple types of substances in their system at the time of the crash. It is hard to know precisely how common drugged driving is in the United States.

First, there are not any reliable roadside tests to measure a driver's drug levels. Additionally, some types of illicit drugs can stay in a driver’s system for days or weeks, making it difficult to determine when they last used the drug. If the driver used the drugs three weeks ago, it would be more challenging to link the accident to his or her drug use. Finally, law enforcement officers typically do not test drivers for drugs if they have illegal blood alcohol levels because they already have the evidence they need to prove a DUI charge.

Contact a Charlotte Drugged Drugged Driving Lawyer Today

When people are under the influence of illicit drugs, they are at an increased risk of being involved in a car accident. If you have been injured by a drunk or drugged driver in Charlotte or the surrounding area, Arnold & Smith, PLLC can help. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn how we can fight for your right to compensation for your injuries. Call one of our three offices at 855.370.2828 to set up your free initial consultation.

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