It is hard to say which is the lesser of two evils: drunk driving or drugged driving. Compared to the 1970s, the number of drunk drivers has decreased by 80 percent, due to the country’s crackdown on drunk drivers. This is according to studies taken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), specifically their National Roadside Survey. Another study by NHTSA revealed that over 29 million people reported that they had driven under the influence of alcohol, and 10 million have driven after taking illegal drugs.
How Marijuana and Other Drugs Affect Driving
Marijuana is the drug that most frequently turns up in blood tests of motorists involved in crashes. Another NHTSA study looked at how alcohol and drug use contributed to motor vehicle accidents, studying respondents from Virginia Beach. It took place over 20 months, and of the 3,000 drivers surveyed, the only drug present was marijuana. It showed that drivers using marijuana were 25 percent more likely to crash, though this was only found in young males. Further research is needed to establish how cannabis actually affects drivers, and it will have to consider how strong the marijuana is, and how much is consumed.
Other drugs have differing affects, especially when ingested with alcohol. In general, marijuana may decrease coordination, cause drowsiness, slow down reaction time, and affect judgment of distance and time. Opioids and other prescriptions can cause similar effects, and stimulants such as methamphetamine or cocaine may lead to reckless and aggressive driving.
Determining If a Driver is Driving Under the Influence
Traditional ways to discover if a driver is under the influence include breathalyzers, field sobriety tests (FSTs), and observations. Breathalyzers screen for alcohol, but not other drugs; these can be done at the site where the driver is pulled over and at the police station. Tell-tale signs, such as the smell of marijuana, bloodshot eyes, and strange behavior can indicate that the person may be intoxicated. FSTs include one-legged stands, and walking in a straight line.
Victims can sustain debilitating injuries in an accident with a drugged driver. Proving the driver was under the influence at the time of the accident can be difficult. As the laws in each state differ, it is a good idea to contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible to fight for your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
South Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Advocate for Victims Injured by Drugged Drivers
If you were involved in a car accident with a driver under the influence of drugs, contact the experienced South Jersey car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm. We will fight to obtain the compensation and justice you deserve. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury. For a free consultation, call us at 609-926-3300 or complete our online form.