We often hear about the dangers of drinking and driving in Lombard and throughout Chicagoland. For instance, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 10,000 people suffer fatal injuries in alcohol-impaired accidents each year, and drunk driving causes nearly 30 percent of all reported motor vehicle crash deaths in the United States. In addition, more than one million drivers are arrested each year for DUIs, and about 111 million drivers admit to drinking and driving. To be clear, drunk driving is a serious problem that leads to deadly motor vehicle crashes. What about other forms of impairment? According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, more drivers are causing drugged driving accidents than ever before.
Growing Dangers of Drugged Driving Crashes
If you thought drunk driving was a serious problem, it is time to recognize that drugged driving has also become a significant cause of serious and sometimes fatal traffic collisions. Indeed, according to the article, an increasing percentage of drivers who die in road accidents test positive for drugs. In order to combat the problem, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) emphasizes that states must do a better job of educating the general public and law enforcement on the risks of driving while on marijuana, opioids, and other substances.
In 2016 alone, nearly 44 percent of all drivers who were killed in car crashes tested positive for drugs. That figure has risen significantly since 2006, when about 28 percent of all drivers who sustained fatal injuries in motor vehicle accidents tested positive for drugs. All the while, the rate of drunk driving accidents actually has declined slightly.
Raising Public Awareness About Drugged Driving Risks
How has the rate of drunk driving accidents declined while drugged driving accidents have increased? The GHSA suggests that one of the problems concerns public awareness. According to Jim Hedlund, who recently drafted a GHSA report on drugged driving and previously served as an official with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the message has been out on drunk driving for 40 years now, and people have paid attention. Hedlund went on to explain that public awareness about the dangers of drunk driving has prevented crashes. Now we need the same level of attention surrounding drugged driving collisions.
Drugged driving can involve both legal prescription drugs, as well as illegal drugs. The drug found most often in deadly drugged driving accidents is marijuana. According to the GHSA, marijuana affects skills critical to driving, including vigilance, drowsiness, and reaction time. At the same time, many drugged drivers are using prescription medications like opioids and getting into dangerous collisions.
Contact a Lombard Motor Vehicle Crash Attorney
If you or someone you love suffered serious or fatal injuries in a motor vehicle crash involving an impaired driver, you should speak with an aggressive DuPage County car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An advocate at our firm may be able to help you seek compensation for your losses. Contact Mevorah Law Offices LLC to learn more about the services we provide to residents of DuPage County.
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