Posted on Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 at 1:19 am    

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 10 million people admitted in a survey that they had operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs. In a story by USA Today, the author reports that the percentage of deaths in traffic accidents where at least one driver tested positive for drugs has nearly doubled during the past decade.

During 2015, a little over one-fifth of the fatal traffic accidents in involved at least one drugged driver. This number was an increase from 12% in 2005. Even though the number of fatalities in traffic accidents has decreased during the past decade, the number of drugged driving accidents has increased. In 2013, the number of drivers killed in motor vehicle accidents in California who tested positive for drugs was 32 percent.

What Types of Drugs Are Responsible for Drugged Driving Accidents?

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) says that drug use impairs a person’s motor skills, balance, perception, judgment, reaction time, memory, and attention. All of these skills are vital for operating a motor vehicle safely. Impairment of any one of these skills can increase a driver’s chance of causing a drugged driving accident.  However, drugged driving is not only the result of illicit or illegal drugs. Yes, marijuana, cocaine, and other illegal drugs cause many drugged driving accidents but so do many legally prescribed drugs.

The NIH website has a list of the drugs that have side effects that can impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. Some of those drugs include:

  • Prescription sedatives including Valium, Ambien, Xanax, Lunesta, and Nembutal
  • Steroids such as Anadrol and Oxandrin
  • Prescription pain medications including hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, oxycodone, fentanyl, and meperidine
  • Over-the-counter decongestants and cough medications containing DXM or Dextromethorphan (a/k/a cough and cold medications)
  • Prescription stimulants including Concerta, Adderall, Benzedrine, and Ritalin

Regardless of whether the driver has taken a drug that was obtained illegally, over-the-counter, or by prescription, that driver can be held liable for damages if he causes a drugged driving accident.

Even drivers who take prescription medications and over-the-counter medications are liable for their actions. They must read and understand the side effects and cautions contained in the materials given to them by the drug manufacturer and the pharmacist. If a drug has the potential for causing an impairment, the driver must take the proper precautions to avoid a motor vehicle accident, including not getting behind the wheel when under the influence of the drug.

Call A Sacramento Drugged Accident Attorney for Help

If you suspect that a drugged driver caused your motor vehicle accident, contact our Sacramento drugged driver accident attorney immediately. You must still prove that the drugged driver caused the collision that resulted in your injury if you want to receive compensation for your damages. A positive drug test is not conclusive evidence that the driver caused the collision. Our attorneys understand what must be done to ensure the driver is held liable for his or her actions that led to the crash.

You can reach the Tiemann Law Firm by telephone at (916) 999-9000 or by chatting with a representative on our website.  Our Sacramento drugged driving accident attorneys serve clients in Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, El Dorado Hills and other communities in the greater Sacramento area. Let our attorneys fight for your right to receive full compensation for your damages, losses, and injuries.

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