While there is a known risk and concern for drivers in Florida that they will encounter a drunk driver and be involved in an auto accident, another issue that is growing to be a significant concern is drugged driving. The number of people who are driving after having used marijuana — among other types of drugs — is growing in frequency across the country. This is believed to be causing more crashes.
The number of drivers who have tested positive for having smoked marijuana or for using other drugs increased by slightly less than three percent from 2007 to 2014. This study was conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The group is an advocate for safety on the road. Testing of volunteers on the roadway provided the information through saliva and blood samples that drivers gave.
In addition, 38 percent of those who were killed in car crashes in 2013 had detectable amounts of drugs that could possibly cause impairment in their blood. These drugs were of the legal and illegal variety. This is around the same number of people who had alcohol in their system in similar circumstances.
Marijuana was the drug that came up in the tests most often at slightly less than 35 percent. Amphetamines and amphetamine-like pills were at nearly 10 percent. Other drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and cocaine were also found in drivers’ blood at a rate between 3.5 percent and close to seven percent. In recent years, the number of drunk drivers has been decreasing. Drivers who were found to have drugs in their system, on the other hand, is rising. The use of marijuana might double the danger a driver faces of being in an auto accident.
Drugs such as marijuana reduce the driver’s ability to react as quickly as the person might if there were not drugs in the person’s system. Amphetamines might cause a driver to speed and fail to pay strict attention. A car accident victim who has been injured or the family of a loved one who was killed in a car collision with a driver who has been using drugs needs to garner proof of this through a full investigation in order to move forward with a legal case to pursue compensation. Therefore, their first call should be to a legal professional for assistance in filing a case.
Source: cnn.com, “Driving while drugged now just as deadly as drunk driving,” Carina Storrs, Oct. 1, 2015