When drivers misuse prescription drugs or take illicit drugs, they put themselves and other road users at risk. In fact, drug use has about the same effect on a driver’s performance as alcohol use - focus can be difficult to maintain, judgment often becomes impaired, motor skills and coordination may be affected, and some drugs can even make a driver more prone to reckless or aggressive behavior behind the wheel. Sadly, this does not stop an estimated 10 million drivers from driving under the influence of illicit drugs, or many others from misusing prescription drugs and then driving. In addition, there are many other concerning facts about drugged driving, many of which might shock you.
Estimates May Not Be Accurate
In 2014, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) surveyed drivers and asked them if they had driven under the influence of illicit drugs in the past year. Around 10 million admitted to doing so. The problem with this statistic is that it relies heavily on self-reporting. Though, theoretically, an anonymous poll, not all users will outright admit to drug use. Furthermore, this estimate only covers those who have used illicit drugs. It does not account for medical marijuana users, nor for those who are improperly using a prescription provided to them by a physician.
Improper Drug Use May Be On the Rise
Road users plenty to worry about every time they get behind the wheel to go to work, school, or simply out with their friends – illicit drug users, drunk drivers, reckless drivers – but this is really only the half of it. A trend, which shows about a seven percent increase in the prevalence of improper drug use among those aged 50 and over, is yet another cause for concern. This group of “drug users” may not be putting others at risk intentionally, but they are responsible for more than one-fourth of deadly crashes among their age group. Mental decline, which can cause them to take their medication at the wrong times or forget they have taken the medication and drive when they should not, is suspected to be a major contributing factor in the trend.
Victims of Drugged Driving May Struggle to Receive Fair Compensation
While law enforcement is fairly reliable when it comes to testing the blood alcohol content of drivers suspected of drunk driving, they are less apt to test for drugs. This is partly because they still lack a reliable roadside test. Furthermore, the officer may not pursue drug testing if they already have enough to charge the driver with a DUI. Yet, according to statistics, many illicit drug users are also under the influence of alcohol, which can further impair their ability to drive.
All of this, paired with the already complex nature of auto accident claims, can create obstacles for drugged driving victims when they try to pursue compensation for their losses. The information they need – namely evidence that the driver responsible for their accident was on an illicit substance – may not have been collected. Without this evidence, the outcome of their case could be affected.
At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, we fight aggressively for the rights of drugged driving victims. We know how drastically their lives have been altered, and we use our experience and knowledge to help them achieve justice. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury because of drugged driving, get the representation and compensation that you deserve. Call 630-932-9100 and schedule a consultation with our DuPage County auto accident attorneys today.
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