The US is experiencing an increased rate of drugged driving and accident deaths involving drivers who have tested positive for drugs.
What kinds of drugs can impair people’s ability to drive safely?
Some are illegal substances that exert a powerful influence on cognitive functioning and reflexes. There are also various medications, ranging from antihistamines to opioid painkillers, that can make people sleepy, disoriented, dizzy, unfocused, or slow to react.
Maryland, for instance, is struggling with mounting numbers of opioid overdose deaths resulting from pain medications and heroin. (Between 2013 and 2014, Maryland and the neighboring states of Virginia and Pennsylvania all saw significant increases in rates of fatal overdoses.) Along with continuing to raise awareness about the general problem of illegal or improper drug use, it’s important to highlight the fact that these drugs can pose a serious risk on the road. Overdoses aren’t the only way that people can die from opioids.
Another key point to remember is that even relatively mild drugs, such as standard non-addictive over-the-counter medications, may impair driving ability. For example, the FDA has issued warnings about antihistamines and other common medications that may not mix well with driving. Even though some people don’t get hit with strong side effects, it’s still important for everyone to evaluate their reactions to a particular drug and exercise caution.
Greater awareness is essential
While many people are familiar with the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol, fewer people consider the dangers of driving while using drugs.
Spreading awareness on the news and on social media sites like Facebook can help. It’s also important for people to monitor their own reactions to drugs and consult with their doctors about whether they should drive or not. If you’ve taken a medication and begin to experience symptoms while driving, your best bet is to pull over as soon as you safely can, instead of endangering yourself and others on the road.
Should you suffer an accident involving drugged driving, don’t hesitate to contact a Maryland personal injury attorney. Reach out to us at 844-Take-MyCase or through our website, www.844TakeMyCase.com. You can also stay in touch with us on Facebook, and share your thoughts on the news and issues we discuss on our Facebook account.
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