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Drugged driving becoming more common

Most Tennesseans know that drunk driving is a major problem in our state. Yet, drugged driving is becoming just as disconcerting. Those who choose to drive while under the influence of drugs, like those under the influence of alcohol, can have difficulty maintaining their lane and speed, and their reaction times can be slowed. All of this can lead to dangerous driving conditions for not only the driver, but also those sharing the road with them.

The statistics surrounding drugged driving help illustrate just how big of a problem this issue is becoming. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, approximately 4,000 people are killed every year in drugged driving accidents. About seven percent of drivers who are involved in fatal accidents are THC positive post-accident, meaning that they are under the influence of marijuana. Additionally, marijuana and cocaine are found to be involved in about 18 percent of all fatal car accidents.

The number of individuals who drive drunk or drugged is disturbing to say the least. In fact, in 2013, nearly 10 million people admitted to driving under the influence of some sort of drug. Marijuana is seeing the fastest growth, but other drugs also play a significant role in drugged driving and are responsible for numerous injuries and deaths.

So, what does this mean for Tennessee motorists? It means that at any given moment, an individual can be driving near a drunk or drugged driver. Motorists should drive defensively to protect themselves as much as possible, but, for some, that won't be enough. Those who are injured in a car accident may want to speak with an attorney to fully consider their legal options and how best to pursue the compensation to which they may be entitled.

Source: MADD, "Drugged Driving By the Numbers," accessed on July 15, 2016

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