Just like drinking and driving, drug use and getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is not a good combination. While it's never legal to be under the influence of alcohol, however, some drivers use legal prescription medications and are then too impaired to drive safely. Read on to find out what you can do when you get hurt by an impaired driver on drugs.
Drugs And Driving Don't Mix
Whether the driver that caused your wreck was under the influence of a legally-prescribed drug, an over-the-counter drug, or an illegal drug, they all mean that the accident did not have to happen. It's easy to see how a driver might miscalculate or be careless and cause an accident, but those who use drugs and then put others on the road in danger are doing so intentionally. When drivers are on drugs, their reflexes, cognitive abilities, judgment, and motor skills are all negatively affected. Worse yet, these drivers are often unaware of the level of their impairment – thus placing everyone they encounter on the roadways in danger.
Drugs That Impair Drivers
Almost any type of drug can cause a driver to be too impaired to operate a vehicle safely. Some, however, are worse than others at causing drowsiness and other impairments. For example, anti-anxiety medications, even if prescribed and used as directed, can cause blurry vision and sleepiness. Pain medications are well-known for being abused and many people either ignore the warnings about driving after use or are too addicted to care about how the drugs could affect their driving. Marijuana is undergoing decriminalization and more accepted use as we speak but that does not mean it should be used while operating a vehicle. Even over-the-counter cold remedies will impair your driving abilities. When a wreck happens, what the other driver used before driving can come under scrutiny.
Criminal Charges for Impaired Driving
Law enforcement officers that respond to accident scenes are trained to be aware of the potential for a driver to be under the influence of drugs. Once they identify a driver who appears to be impaired, drug tests can be ordered. As a result, your personal injury attorney should follow up to find out about any later arrests or citations in connection with those criminal charges. The fact that the other driver was charged for impaired driving can improve your chances of proving that you were not at fault for the accident.
When another driver causes your wreck, you are entitled to several forms of damages. When that same driver was impaired at the time of the accident, your case may be easier to prove and the other side will be more eager to settle the case. Speak to a personal injury lawyer about your accident today.