The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

The Dangers of Drug Impaired Driving

There is often much talk about the dangers of drunk driving. To be clear, drunk driving is incredibly dangers and thousands of lives have been lost due to those drivers under the influence of alcohol. Another form of dangerous driving, however, is driving under the influence of drugs. Drugs, both illegal and legal, can have a profound impact on a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Between October and December of 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 56% of drivers that were involved in serious injury and fatal crashes ended up testing positive for at least one drug in their system. Drug impaired driving is costing us too much. It is time to educate yourself on the dangers of drug impaired driving and what we can all do to help each other stay safe out there on the roads.

The Dangers of Drug Impaired Driving

It does not matter if you have taken illegal drugs, over the counter drugs, or a drug for which you have a valid prescription. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of any drug can be very dangerous. That is why driving while impaired by any substance, whether it be alcohol or drugs, is illegal in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. This is because you cannot drive safely while your driving abilities have been compromised by such substances and, thus, you are putting yourself and others at risk should you choose to get behind the wheel in such a state.

There seems to be particularly prominent misconceptions about driving while under the influence of marijuana. Make no mistake about it, even in states where marijuana laws have changed making it legal, even just for medical use, driving while under the influence of marijuana is still illegal and still dangerous. Some people may assert that marijuana makes them a safer driver. Scientific studies, however, show the contract. Marijuana impairs motor skills and cognitive functions, both essential to safe driving. The substance also impairs a person’s lane tracking abilities. While more research studies continue regarding marijuana use and driving, the NHTSA’s Drug and Alcohol Risk Study makes it clear that marijuana users are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle crashes.

Different drugs can have different and dangerous impacts on a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Cocaine and methamphetamines can result in a driver being more aggressive and reckless. Other drugs, such as marijuana, can make a driver more lethargic and significantly impact reaction time. Consuming alcohol in tandem with drugs can often amplify the drugs debilitating effects. It is also quite common for some prescription medication and over the counter medication to cause drowsiness.

It can be difficult to assess the impact a drug is having on your abilities, but the NHTSA reminds you to consider the fact that if you feel different, you drive different. Always ere on the side of caution and refrain from driving if there are any drugs or alcohol in your system. Make use of designated drivers. Don’t let friends and loved ones get behind the vehicle if impaired by drugs or alcohol.

New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys

Have you been injured by a drug impaired driver? You are entitled to full and fair compensation for the harm you have suffered and the dedicated team of personal injury attorneys at the Cassidy Law Firm is here to fight for you. Contact us today.

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