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Drugs and driving are a deadly combination

Drugged driving is a growing problem in our country. Each year, there are around 4,000 drivers who had drugs in their bodies when they were killed. The number is likely much, much higher, as this doesn't take into account those drivers who died and were not tested for drugs. It also doesn't include drivers who were killed by other drivers who had drugs in their systems.

Nearly 7 percent of drivers involved in deadly traffic accidents tested positive for the principle ingredient in marijuana -- THC. Around 18 percent of drivers who died in motor vehicle accidents had drugs like cocaine and marijuana in their systems, but no alcohol.

Here's a scary statistic: Nearly 10 million people reported that they had driven while under the influence of drugs. That's almost 4 percent of the population. While some teens believe -- mistakenly -- that they drive better while they are high on pot, more than half of the drivers who were admitted to a Level 1 trauma center for injuries suffered in a traffic accident had drugs in their system. This doesn't include alcohol. Almost 25 percent had marijuana in their system.

These statistics show just how prevalent drugged driving really is and why law enforcement is trying to crack down on these drivers. The problem is that there is not one single test to determine if a driver is under the influence of a prescription drug, an over-the-counter medication or an illicit drug. Drugs can affect a driver's skills behind the wheel in a number of ways, including his or her coordination, perception, reaction time, attention, judgment and tracking. Even small amounts of certain drugs can seriously impact a person's ability to drive safely.

If you were injured in a car accident with a drugged driver or you have lost a loved one due to the same, you have a right to seek compensation for damages. You shouldn't have to suffer because someone else chooses to take drugs and then drive. An attorney can give you additional information on how to proceed and what your legal options are.

Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, "What is “drugged” driving?," accessed Jan. 01, 2016

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