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Is drugged driving as dangerous as drunk driving?

While drunk driving has been a well-known issue for a long time, there is another impaired driving issue that is becoming more prevalent. That issue is drugged driving. Many drugs, including over-the-counter, prescription and illegal, have side effects that can negatively impact driving skills.

What are some driving skills that can be impacted by drugs?

Reaction time, tracking, coordination, judgment, perception, attention and coordination can all be affected by drugs. When you put all of these effects together, you end up with a person who is unable to react swiftly to hazards on the roads. This makes the drugged driver a danger to anyone who shares the road with them.

Does a person have to be high to experience these effects?

Even small amounts of some drugs can lead to negative effects on a person’s ability to drive. The effects are often increased if a driver is also drinking alcohol while they are consuming the drugs.

How common are drugged driving accidents?

Keeping accurate records of drugged driving accidents is difficult since there isn’t any roadside test for drug usage. Another obstacle of keeping records for drugged driving is that a driver who has a high blood-alcohol concentration often won’t be tested for drugs because the BAC level might be enough for a criminal case.

If you are injured in a drugged driving accident, you may decide to seek compensation for your injuries. The police report and other records from the accident can have a big impact on your claim for compensation. Learning what information you should gather can help you as you build your case.

Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, “What is “drugged” driving?,” accessed Jan. 15, 2016

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