Are you guilty of drugged driving?
Tampa area drivers are likely aware of the dangers of drunk driving and take steps to ensure they have a sober and safe ride home. Less discussed are the dangers associated with drugged driving and the varying medications that may render a driver impaired and unable to safely operate a motor vehicle.
According to the American Automobile Association, within the last 30 days, nearly 50 percent of Americans have taken at least one prescription drug. What’s more, 31 percent report taking at least two prescription drugs. Because they are prescribed by a doctor for legitimate medical reasons, many people fail to recognize the dangers associated with prescription drugs. According to AAA, this is often especially true when it comes to driving as “only two percent of drivers consider driving under the influence of prescription drugs a very serious threat.”
When most people think about drugged driving, illegal drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines like spring to mind. In truth, however, more than 46 percent of fatal drugged driving accidents involve prescription drugs. Even many over-the-counter medications can adversely affect a driver’s ability to think clearly, stay alert and react quickly while operating a car or truck. For example, studies show that a driver who ingests a cold medication that contains the ingredient diphenhydramine is as impaired as a driver who is considered legally drunk.
Drivers and passengers who are injured in a motor vehicle accident in which another driver is found to have prescription or over-the-counter drugs in his or her system, would be wise to contact an attorney. A toxicology report can help determine the exact types and levels of drugs involved and also if such drugs may have played a role in contributing to an accident.
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