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Is drugged driving a bigger problem than drunk driving?

Drunk driving is a deadly problem across Tennessee. However, alcohol is not the only substance that can seriously impair a driver's capabilities and send all nearby motorists into danger. Drugs, whether marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine or opiates, can impact a motorist in a way that can reduce reaction times, impair his or her attention and deteriorate motor skills. This reduction in abilities can result in injurious or fatal car accidents.

Drugged driving is becoming a growing problem across our nation. Some estimates state that approximately 20 percent of all accidents in our country are caused by a driver who is impaired by drugs. These accidents, in turn, are estimated to cause nearly 7,000 deaths and more than 400,000 injuries a year. Of increasing concern is the fact that a national survey found that motorists are seven times more likely to be under the influence of drugs than they are alcohol when driving on a weekend night.

Many states are enacting drugged driving prevention measures in hopes of curtailing these wrecks, but they don't go far enough for those who have already been hurt by the negligence of another. These individuals, who may suffer extensive medical expenses, lost wages and physical and emotional pain and suffering may be able to pursue recovery for their losses via a personal injury lawsuit.

Pursing a negligence lawsuit based on drug use can be more difficult than if it were based on drunk driving. There are no roadside tests to look for drug impairment, short of a blood test. Yet, there is likely other evidence that can be utilized to support a personal injury claim. To learn more about how to uncover and utilize that evidence, accident victims should consult with their attorney.

Source: Stop Drugged Driving, "Drugged Driving: A National Priority," accessed on Sept. 23, 2016

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