You face countless hazards on the road, whether you become involved in a collision due to inclement weather, poor visibility, traffic congestion or a distracted driver who causes a crash. Unfortunately, many accidents occur as a result of drug use. Both legal and illegal substances cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and behave erratically behind the wheel.
It is helpful to review statistics on impaired driving in order to understand the impact of this behavior and the prevalence of drug use on the road.
How many serious traffic accidents involve impaired drivers?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 65% of drivers involved in deadly accidents and crashes that caused serious injuries tested positive for one substance. Furthermore, data from 2020 shows that drug use is increasing among drivers. In 2020, an increasing number of drivers tested positive for opioids, alcohol and marijuana.
How do drugs increase the odds of traffic accidents?
Many drivers recognize that alcohol use increases the likelihood of a crash. However, many other substances also result in intoxication and interfere with driving abilities. With the recent legalization of marijuana in many states, some drivers wrongly believe that they can drive safely after consuming marijuana. However, marijuana can adversely affect a driver’s ability to stay safe, such as making it harder to multitask.
Over-the-counter drugs and prescription medication can also lead to impaired driving and drowsiness. If a driver under the influence of any substance caused an accident that left you or a loved one with an injury, you need to review your options as you try to move forward.