Drugged Driving is Dangerous
Drivers make poor choices every day. One of the most dangerous involves the use of drugs before getting behind the wheel. Whether the drug is illegal or a prescription, when the effects impair the driver, it puts everyone at risk. If you or a loved one has been seriously harmed by a drugged driver, the assistance of a local personal injury attorney may be necessary.
DUI in Maryland
There are two ways a person can be found guilty of a DUI (driving under the influence) here in the Old Line State:
- For driving when impaired to such a degree that it is unsafe;
- For driving when impaired after illegally using a controlled substance.
Effects of Drugs on Driving
Drugs have a variety of impacts on the brain, many of which affect a person’s ability to drive safely. Substances such as marijuana, for example, have been shown to reduce reaction time, diminish judgments related to time and distance, and hamper coordination. Conversely, drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine are connected to recklessness and aggression behind the wheel.
Prescription medications can seriously influence a driver’s ability to negotiate the road, as well. Opioids and benzodiazepines, for instance, can lead to fuzzy cognitive functioning, light-headedness, and lethargy. Some research indicates that drivers who are under the influence of opioids are at twice the risk of being involved in a collision.
These substances and others have been linked with drivers who weave across lanes, who lose focus on the road, and who fail to react appropriately to unexpected hazards. When combined with alcohol, outcomes can be even more severe.
Facts Worth Knowing
Over four in ten road fatalities in 2016 involved drugs, and half of those involved two or more different substances. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports that well over 30 million people across the country hit the roads in 2018 after using drugs or alcohol. Nearly one-third of those cases involved illicit drugs. Nearly one in five DUI arrests involved prescription opioids. Which drugs are the greatest offenders on the road? In addition to alcohol, marijuana is the substance most often found in the bloodstream of drivers following accidents.
The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, can linger in the bloodstream for weeks. This fact muddles our understanding of its role in collisions. We can say, however, that THC in conjunction with other drugs seems to create a greater risk for accidents than the use of a single drug on its own.
We Can Help
Irresponsible, reckless decisions on the road lead to tragic outcomes for Innocents all too often. If you have been the victim of an accident and the other driver was under the influence of drugs, the experienced Baltimore personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, LLC, can pursue damages in a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.