While the nation was focused on efforts to reduce drunk driving rates, another danger was busy putting lives at risk: drugged driving. Blame the legalization of medicinal marijuana in California, the drug’s decriminalization, or the availability of over-the-counter and prescription drugs: whatever the reason, drugged driving is a very real, and extremely dangerous, new trend.
The Prevalence of Drugged Driving
Although the number of drunk driving incidents has been cut in half since 1980, drugged driving has increased steadily. According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, 38 percent of drivers killed in accidents who were tested had drugs in their systems. Additionally, the results of a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that 22 percent of drivers who were pulled over tested positive for illegal drugs or some type of medication.
The Drugs Used
Any drug, whether it is illegal, over-the-counter, or prescription, can alter a person’s ability to operate a vehicle; if not physically, then cognitively. For instance, drugs can alter a person’s perception and focus, which can lead to a devastating accident.
Since medical marijuana is legal in California, it is safe to say that many who use the drug drive while impaired and, although using it may be legal for some, driving while under the influence is always illegal. Additionally, over one-third of the drivers tested in the report were positive for marijuana, and over 10 percent of the drivers had amphetamines in their systems.
We Want to Help Victims of Drugged Driving Accidents
Prescription drug use in the United States has quadrupled since 1999, so it makes sense that your chances of becoming involved in a drugged driving accident are high. If you’re injured in such a crash, you should know that you have rights, and the Steinberg Injury Lawyers can help. Contact our legal team today by calling 800-989-6385 and set up a free consultation. You shouldn’t have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence, and we want to help you get the justice you deserve.