When you think about driving under the influence, drunk driving is probably the first thing to come to mind. However, a person’s driving can also be severely impaired by drug use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in the past several years, Florida has seen a dramatic increase in the number of drugged driving deaths, particularly among those related to synthetic opioids. Here are some considerations regarding the dangers of drugged driving.
Prevalence of Drugged Driving
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2016, 20.7 million people aged 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol in 2017, and 11.8 million people drove under the influence of illicit drugs. NSDUH also found that adults ages 18 to 25 were more likely to drive under the influence than those over 26 and that men were also more apt to do so than women. Research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIDA) cite to several studies which have shown that “drivers with THC in their blood were approximately twice as likely to be responsible for a deadly crash or be killed than drivers who hadn't used drugs or alcohol.” Additionally, the Center for Behavioral Health Statistic and Quality (CBHSQ) found when examining data from crashes which involved drugged driving, and prescribed painkillers were the most commonly used by drivers.
Drug Abuse and Driving
Drug addiction is a significant problem in the United States. The substances being abused can be illegal such as heroin, methamphetamines, and cocaine or those ordinarily prescribed by a physician to treat pain or a mental health condition. How these drugs will impact a person's ability to drive will vary depending on the substance and how their chemistry and biology function. The use of cocaine or methamphetamines, for instance, could cause a person to be overstimulated, aggressive and reckless. Driving after using opioids such as Vicodin or heroin could make the driver become drowsy and unfocused while operating their vehicle. Whatever the substance, when a driver has been using drugs, their ability to safely drive will be critically impaired thereby increasing the risk of causing an accident. The state of Florida takes this risk seriously, and consequently, the law penalizes those who drive while drugged in the same manner as those who drive drunk.
How Can I Prevent Drugged Driving?
It is evident that drugged driving is an increasing problem in Florida which can contribute to serious case accidents, injuries, and deaths on the road. To avoid being driven by a drugged driver you could offer to be the designated driver or utilize private or public transportation services when going to places where substance abuse may be an issue. You can also be aware of your driver’s demeanor and be vigilant about taking their keys if they appear to be under the influence of a substance. Additionally, you can talk to others about this issue to raise awareness and develop strategies for keeping one another safe.
Ideally, you will not be involved in a drugged driving accident. However, should you be injured due to a drugged driver’s actions, the Draper Law Firm is here with the experience and advice you require to get the just and fair compensation you deserve. We have experienced personal injury and motor vehicle accident attorneys who are ready to fight for you. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation. We invite you to learn more about our firm here.