We all know that drinking and driving is a lethal combination. It should not be a shock to anyone to know that drinking while using drugs, legal or not, is just as dangerous. It’s a fact that driving under the influence substantially increases the chances of a car accident in St. Lucie or Fort Lauderdale.
A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration illustrates the risks associated with using drugs and driving. The data representing 2005 to 2009 showed a gradual increase in drivers testing positive for drugs after a fatal crash. In 2005 the positive test results were 13%, the next year 15%, in 2007 it was 16% and the last two years it was 18%.
The NHTSA wants it to be clear that drugs connected to the driver did not mean that the drugs were the cause of the accident or that the driver was impaired. Drug types that were found included illegal, physician prescribed and over the counter. Examples included stimulants, inhalants, depressants and steroids.
What would help the drug testing effort is to establish a consistent practice at the state level. Set standards for which drugs should be tested for and what level for each drug would be considered an impaired amount.
Our bodies react to drugs in all kinds of different ways. Some make us tired, slow our reactions and decrease our concentration level. Opposing drugs make us super hyper and cause us to over react to a situation. None of these behaviors are favorable when mixed with driving. Friends Drive Sober documented some interesting facts on the effects of drugs and driving:
-Taking 10mg of Valium is equal to driving with a BAC of .10.
-You should wait at least 10 hours after taking an antidepressant before you drive.
-A lot of over the counter antihistamines, decongestants and allergy medications slow concentration, decrease reaction time and cause drowsiness.
As a result, law enforcement in 46 states (over 6,000 officers) has been trained on the recognition of symptoms of a driver impaired by drugs. Before risking getting pulled over, or worse, let’s all be careful when taking any kind of medication. Check the label and ask your doctor of its effects on the ability to operate a motor vehicle.
If you have been injured in a Florida auto accident contact Fort Lauderdale Law Offices of Dean H. Freeman for a free consultation. Call 1-800-529-2368.