Drugged Driving Car Accidents
As the number of individuals using recreational and prescription drugs continues to rise, it is no surprise that increased incidence of “drugged” driving has resulted in thousands of car accidents each year. One national study indicated over 12.8 million people drove while under the influence of illicit drugs within the past year. While most drivers have a clear understanding of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol, the risks of drugged driving are often not as well known.
Each drug affects a person’s brain chemistry in a unique way. Drivers under the influence of marijuana often show signs of decreased coordination, slower reaction times, and impaired judgment. When using a methamphetamine or substance like cocaine, drivers frequently become aggressive or reckless in their decision making. Other narcotics have side effects ranging from drowsiness or dizziness to impaired cognitive functioning. Drinking alcohol while using any drug can substantially increase these risks.
“Drugged driving” does not only occur when individuals use illegal drugs. Individuals using prescription medicine must be sure to follow the instructions and warnings when taking their medications. Failure to do so can lead to a serious accident, just as in other forms of “drugged driving.”
Signs of Drugged Driving
Many drivers operating their vehicles under the influence of drugs exhibit the following signs:
- Delayed or unpredictable braking
- Increased lane weaving
- Poor reaction time
- Decreased attention to road conditions
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Overconfidence in their ability to drive safely
- Decreased distance perception
- Decreased ability to track moving objects
- Coordination difficulties
- Difficulty following traffic signals
Drivers should never operate a vehicle after using drugs. By appointing designated drivers, using ride sharing services such as Lyft or Uber, or making arrangements to stay the night, drivers can prevent fatal car accidents.
It remains illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, methamphetamines, opioids, or any prescription drug having the potential to impair one’s driving ability. Even in states where the recreational use of marijuana is permitted, it remains illegal to drive after using the drug. Driving under the influence of drugs can result in criminal charges with significant fines and penalties, including mandatory jail time in some circumstances.
In some states, even trace amounts of drugs in an individual’s blood or urine can result in a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI). Police departments routinely use blood tests to measure the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, in the blood of impaired drivers.
Compensation for Injuries
Individuals injured in an accident caused by “drugged driving” can face significant medical expenses. Physical injuries, including loss of limbs, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, organ damage, internal bleeding, spinal cord injuries, and concussions can require years of medical treatment.
When an accident is caused by a driver under the influence, the impaired driving is an act of recklessness or negligence causing injury to others. By filing a personal injury lawsuit against those responsible for the collision, injured individuals can receive compensation for the costs of medical treatment, occupational therapy, physical therapy, rehabilitation, hospital stays, prescription drugs, and x-rays. Car accident victims may also be entitled to payment for lost wages and emotional distress. Contacting an experienced South Jersey car accident lawyer is the first step in obtaining compensation after being injured in a car accident involving drugged driving.
South Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Williams Cedar Obtain Compensation for Those Harmed by Drugged Driving
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, you are not alone. The experienced South Jersey car accident lawyers at Williams Cedar are dedicated to getting you the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, allowing us to represent clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a free confidential consultation with an experienced Cherry Hill car accident lawyer today, call us at 215-557-0099 or 856-470-9777 or submit an online contact form.