A Public Health Reports’ study has revealed that marijuana, prescription drugs, and a combination of over-the-counter drugs are increasingly being found in the blood of victims of fatal traffic accidents in the United States. Misuse of prescription drugs can result in impairing a driver, the effects of which are somewhat similar to driving after drinking alcohol. Driving under such a condition puts driver and passengers, as well as other people sharing the road at high risk.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), about 10 million people in the United Sates have been reported driving under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol in 2014. The survey findings indicate that men are more likely to drive drugged than women, and the percentage is the highest in the age bracket of 18 and 25. It is of paramount importance that driving after taking prescription and non-prescription drugs is stopped and more emphasis is put on educating people about its dangers.
Drugs that Make Driving Dangerous
Depending on the nature, different types of drugs have varying affects on the brain. While doctors mostly prescribe taking a single pill or tablet at a time, sometime people increase dosage on their own thinking it will provide them relief in less time.
One of the most commonly found drugs in car crashes is medical marijuana. It is known to slow reaction time, decrease coordination, and impair judgment of distance. Moreover, tests have shown that marijuana usage decreases attentiveness, diminishes the ability to draw information from surroundings, and sometimes causes hallucinations. All these signs make driving under the influence of drugs like medical marijuana highly dangerous.
Some prescription drugs that can negatively affect a driver include:
* Benzodiazepines* Opioid pain relievers * Prescription painkillers * Hallucinogens * ADHD drugs * Antidepressants * Stimulants You should ask your doctor whether it is safe to drive after taking the drugs they have prescribed to ensure your safety. Steps for Preventing Drugged Driving Several public health professionals have developed social strategies to prevent people from getting behind the wheel under the influence of medical marijuana or prescription drugs. Some safety steps people can take are: * Appointing a designated driver * Offering to be a designated driver * Booking a ride to and from your destination, such as Uber, or asking a friend to do it for you * Spreading awareness of the risks of drugged driving among friends and family If you have been instructed by your doctor or it is labeled on the bottle of your prescription medication to not to operate a vehicle under any circumstance, it is imperative you observe the warning for the sake of your own and others’ safety. At the end of the day, it is in your hands whether to drive under the influence of any sort of drug. While you may be a responsible individual and will not drive under an impaired condition, other drivers sharing the road may not be as careful, and their negligence may result in an accident. If you find yourself as a victim in such a situation, you can file a personal injury claim against the responsible party. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.