While we often hear about drunk driving and the damage it causes, there is another terror on the road, one that is not as well known but is on the rise: drugged driving.
According to a 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 9.9 million people aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the year prior to being surveyed. While the rate of drunk driving is still higher, at 11%, drugged driving is still a serious concern and a form of distracted driving that can cause injury, or even death. Illegal drugs aren’t the only concern when it comes to driving while under the influence. A 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey found that more than 22% of drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs. Indeed, of these drivers who tested positive for drugs, 47% had used a prescription drug, 37% had used marijuana, and 10% had used cocaine. If you or a loved one was injured by a driver in Woodland Hills who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be able to file a claim to recover financial compensation.
Another study from 2013-1014 showed that 15 out of every 100 drivers who provided blood and saliva samples to examiners tested positive for marijuana or some other drug. What’s more, 38% of all persons who died in car crashes in the US in 2013 “had detectable levels of potentially impairing drugs … in their system.”
Drugs most often involved in auto accidents
A few of the most common drugs found in the systems of drivers involved in auto accidents include:
- THC (marijuana) – 13%
- alprazolam (Xanax®)—12%
- hydrocodone (Vicodin®)—11%
- oxycodone (OxyContin®)—10%
- diazepam (Valium®)—8%
This list, of course, is not exhaustive. Whether a driver was under the influence of prescription drugs or illegal drugs, if he was driving negligently, then he could be held financially responsible for your injuries. This means you could recover medical expenses, doctors visits, pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional trauma, and even punitive damages.
Increase in drugged driving
While drunk driving appears to be on the decline (but remains a serious concern in Woodland Hills), drugged driving appears to be increasing. A few reasons for this rise could be that marijuana use is increasing, driven in parts by the states that legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use, and that prescription pain killer use has gone up substantially in the last several years.
If you or a loved one was injured by a drunk driver or a drugged driver, even one who fled the scene of the accident, the law is on your side. Experienced accident attorney Barry P. Goldberg and his legal team can help you protect your legal rights and recover the financial compensation you deserve. Contact Barry for a free consultation today.