Fatal Accidents Caused By Drugged Drivers on the Rise


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At a trailblazing point in U.S. history, many states have either legalized or are considering legalizing marijuana. This is of especially high concern because fatal accidents are already more likely to have been caused by a driver impaired by multiple drugs than they were 20 years ago.

An additional 2009 study performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) uncovered that 18-percent of drivers who were killed in collisions had drugs in their system. This was a 5-percent increase over the data they collected in 2005. Moreover, numerous studies have shown that there is a 4 to 14-percent chance that a driver who was seriously injured or killed in a crash had measurable levels of THC. Depending on the drug of choice, a person can suffer from poor cognitive performance, distraction, slow reaction times and more. These side effects cause needless fatal accidents on Charleston roadways and throughout the country.

Those at Risk
Primarily, men are more likely to abuse drugs and drive than women are. Additionally, people ages 18-25 make up the highest age bracket. Even still, almost anyone can be an at-risk driver. Of a sample group, 60-percent of people who tested positive for marijuana were under the age of 30. However,those ages 50 or older accounted for 39-percent of prescription-drug users.

The issue is so widespread that the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated in 2013 that 9.9 million Americans ages 12 and up had driven under the influence of drugs. A 2007 study from NHTSA determined that 16-percent of drivers traveling during the evening hours on weekends had used illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs. Over 11-percent were positive for illicit drugs as well.

Essentially, every possible demographic has the potential to use drugs and get behind the wheel. The difference lies within the drug of choice. Older Americans are more likely to take a prescription medication, such as a sleeping pill, and then attempt to drive. Younger people are more likely to use illicit drugs, like marijuana.

Types of Drugs Abused
Data from a Maryland shock trauma center was examined, and researchers looked for drugs in the systems of drivers. More than half of the drivers had used drugs, and around 25-percent of patients tested positive for alcohol plus at least one drug. The most commonly found illegal substances were:

  • Marijuana (found in 26.9-percent of patients)
  • Cocaine (found in 11.6-percent of patients)
  • Benzodiazepines/ Tranquilizers like Valium and Xanax (found in 11.2-percent of patients)
  • Opiates/Other Prescription Drugs (found in 10.2-percent of patients)

There is no excuse for impaired driving caused by alcohol and drugs. Although times are changing and many areas now permit the use of previously illegal substances, they still carry risk.

Charleston Fatal Accident Attorney

If you have lost a loved one due to a drugged driver, you may be entitled to reparations. A court can award payments for medical bills incurred prior to their passing, for funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and to assist the family due to loss of income. If you need help navigating the court system during this understandably difficult time, please use our online contact form or speak to one of our lawyers by calling 1(800)610-2546.

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Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, or business tort. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.