Drugged Drivers Are Liable for Accidents They Cause

Dizziness, drowsiness, trouble concentrating and unsteadiness – these are among the many common side effects of a popular prescription depressant. Should someone get behind the wheel after taking such a drug?

Of course, the answer is no. However, according to a recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), people are driving after taking medications and some of these drivers find themselves involved in fatal car accidents.

In the first ever evaluation of drug involvement among deceased drivers in fatal crashes, the NHTSA discovered some startling information. Researchers looked into the level of drug involvement among car accident fatalities that occurred from 2005 to 2009. Below are a few things they discovered:

  • Of the 21,798 drivers who were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2009, 63 percent were tested for drug involvement. 3,952 tested positive for drug involvement.
  • States reported drug use in 13 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in 2005, 15 percent in 2006, 16 percent in 2007 and 18 percent in 2008.
  • The types of drugs recorded include narcotics, stimulants, depressants, cannabinoids, hallucinogens, phencyclidines, anabolic steroids and inhalants. Some of these drugs were illicit, while others were legally prescribed or offered over-the-counter.

The NHTSA report mentions that drug involvement doesn’t necessarily mean it was the cause of the accident or that the driver was impaired.

Drivers need to be responsible

Taking medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter, can impact your driving abilities. According to NHTSA Administrator David Strickland, “every driver on the road has a personal responsibility to operate his or her vehicle with full and uncompromised attention on the driving task.” He goes on to say that the recent report “provides a warning signal that too many Americans are driving after having taken drugs, not realizing the potential for putting themselves and others on the highway at risk.”

If you have been injured in a Vermont or New Hampshire car accident caused by an impaired driver, you may be able to recover compensation. For more information and answers to your questions, contact an experienced Orford car accident attorney at our office today. You can reach us by calling (866) 933-6115. Our law firm represents clients in Western New Hampshire and Eastern Vermont.


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