Campaigns against drinking and driving have received widespread publicity and media coverage in recent decades, helping to educate the public about the dangers associated with drinking and driving while also making it a socially unacceptable behavior. As a result, the percentage of drivers who operate while drunk has declined significantly, though the issue remains as some still violate the law by driving drunk and therefore threaten the safety of the public at large.
Operating under the influence of drugs, including illegal street drugs or prescription medications, has not received the same attention as drunk driving. It is not as widely recognized, as understood, or even as appreciated for the extreme risk it poses to drugged drivers, their passengers, and others near their vehicles. The number of collisions and incidents involving drivers who are operating while on drugs has skyrocketed.
A 2013-2014 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 22 percent of drivers who were tested were found to have drugs in their systems, regardless of whether they were driving during the daytime or nighttime. This included motorists who were used illegal drugs as well as those who were on prescription drugs, though the number using prescription drugs were higher during the daytime and those on illegal drugs were higher during the nighttime. In contrast, only 1.1 percent of tested drivers were positive for alcohol during the daytime and 8.3 percent of tested drivers were positive for alcohol at night.
With the numbers of motorists operating under the influence of drugs increasing, the number of collisions that result from drug use are increasing as well. This is affecting countless individuals in the Valley including those who live in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Chandler, and Queen Creek. Recently, a six vehicle collision happened in Peoria that police claim was the result of a driver who was impaired by drugs.
If you drive in Maricopa County, be aware that the drug use by others may be placing your personal safety in harm’s way. Though you cannot do much to prevent others from operating after using drugs, you can take a stance in opposition to this behavior, lending your voice to the millions who are calling for greater awareness to the issue. If you have children in your home or teenage drivers, make sure you explain to them the fact that the use of illicit substances by just one motorists can risk the lives and safety of dozens, making it a reckless and selfish endeavor. Further, lead by example by avoiding all illegal drug use and only using prescription drugs as authorized by a medical professional. If you are taking a prescription, make sure it is safe and legal for you to drive your car while using the drug before you get behind the wheel.
If you were the victim of a car accident and you sustained injuries, you may have the right to seek payment for your damages against those who are responsible. The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. offer a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation to all victims who call us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and we have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day. If you have questions, call us now and let us help you understand your rights and your legal options as they stem from a car accident, including whether one or more insurance companies may owe you for your injuries.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we never charge our clients a fee unless we make a recovery on their behalf and we advance all case-related expenses. If you have been hurt, call us today and let us help you.
Prior Blog Entry:
Drunk Drivers are on Phoenix Streets after Super Bowl Celebrations, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published February 8, 2016.