As the number of drunk driving accidents continues to decrease, new research indicates another dangerous driving behavior, drugged driving, may be on the rise. The American Automobile Association (AAA) recently reported a 15 percent increase in drugged driving fatalities during a period where the amount of drunk driving had been significantly decreasing. Driving under the influence of drugs can pose a significant safety risk to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, one-fifth of weekend night drivers were under the influence of drugs while operating their vehicles. Other research in New Jersey shows almost 40 percent of drivers fatally injured in car accidents tested positive for drugs. Within a 10-year span, there were close to 800 drugged drivers fatally injured in the state. More driver fatalities resulted from drugged driving than drunk driving during the same period.
Among the most common drugs detected in drugged drivers were prescription drugs; cannabinoids, such as marijuana and opioids; and other illicit narcotics, including cocaine. New Jersey law defines drugged driving as operating a motor vehicle with a blood concentration over .08 percent of a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-producing drug. Commercial drivers are banned from any evidence of recent illegal drug use by the Department of Transportation.
Driving under the influence of drugs presents potentially fatal safety risks. The use of narcotics has a significant impact on cognitive and physical abilities. The most common mental and physical effects of drugged driving include:
Drugged driving frequently results in dangerous driving behaviors such as failing to maintain a safe driving distance, weaving in and out of lanes, failing to follow traffic signals, excessive speeding, falling asleep while driving, failure to brake in time, and other reckless driving behaviors. Injuries resulting from drugged driving accidents range from bruises, sprains, and broken bones to more serious traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, or damage to internal organs.
Injuries resulting from a car accident caused by drugged driving can be catastrophic, requiring years of medical expenses that create a financial nightmare for many families. By holding negligent individuals who drive under the influence of drugs liable for their actions, injured individuals can receive compensation to help pay for the costs of medical treatment, hospital stays, prescription drugs, x-rays, physical or occupational therapy, and rehabilitation. Liable parties may also be responsible for an injured individual’s lost wages and emotional distress. The first step in obtaining compensation for accidents caused by drugged drivers is to contact an experienced Cherry Hill car accident lawyer to further discuss your case.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by a drugged driver, the experienced Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at Williams Cedar are here to help you obtain compensation for your injuries. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey to serve injured individuals and their families throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Cherry Hill and nationwide. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 856-470-9777 or contact us online.