Motor vehicle accidents caused by drugged driving are increasingly becoming a problem in our country. As of 2017, approximately 29 states and the District of Columbia permit the use of medical marijuana, and recreational marijuana use is legal in eight states and the District of Columbia. According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), drugs were in the systems of negligent drivers more often than alcohol in fatal accidents in 2015. You or a family member could suffer catastrophic injuries in a drugged driving accident. However, proving that the driver was intoxicated due to drug use can be challenging, and you will need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney to obtain the compensation you deserve.
What Types of Drugs Can Result in a Driver Causing a Wreck?
A wide variety of drugs can affect a person’s ability to drive safely. Not all of these drugs are illegal. Common drugs that are taken by drivers who go on to cause a car accident include:
- Cocaine. Effects of cocaine use that can make a driver engage in unsafe driving practices include dizziness, aggression, irritability, and disorientation.
- LSD. It is extremely dangerous to drive after consuming LSD because it can cause a driver to hallucinate.
- Marijuana. Marijuana is one of the most common drugs involved in a drugged driving wreck. It can cause a person to become drowsy, have difficulty perceiving distances, and be unable to focus.
- Morphine and heroin. Many people addicted to opioids turn to stronger drugs like heroin. Dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea are a few of the side effects that can make driving dangerous.
- Over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Some OTC medications, such as nighttime cold medicines and allergy medications, can cause drowsiness. Other side effects of medications include lack of coordination or dizziness. Drivers taking these medications or taking the wrong dosage of a safe drug—sometimes intentionally to get high—can have their driving skills significantly reduced—and cause you or a loved one to be seriously injured in an accident.
- Prescription. Some prescription drugs cause side effects serious enough that a driver should not drive. Ambien, Oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet, Xanax, and Valium are just some of the common drugs that can lead drivers to cause deadly wrecks.
Challenges in Drugged Driving Accident Cases
Because of the wide variety of drugs that can be used and their side effects, it can be challenging to identify if a driver who caused a wreck was impaired due to drug use. Some officers do not test drivers for drug use, and the results can be less accurate than those for alcohol consumption. In addition, many of these drivers are also intoxicated due to alcohol use, and it can be challenging to determine how the alcohol consumption versus the drug use impaired the driver’s abilities.
If you were injured in a drugged-driving auto accident, you need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney to prove the driver’s negligence. A skilled lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of your accident, obtain the police report and any alcohol and drug test results, and retain an expert if necessary. At Jones Wilson Injury Lawyers, we help drugged driving accident victims in Henderson, Las Vegas, and nearby areas obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact us online or call our office directly at 702.405.6000 to schedule your free case evaluation and learn how we can assist you in obtaining justice.