Padilla Law Group, LLP

What are the dangers of drugged driving?

When Californians go out to the store, work, school, or to head to a social gathering, they may not pay much attention to the statistics regarding negligent driving. After all, an individual can only drive defensively and hope for the best. While this is true, it may be helpful to realize just how prevalent certain dangerous driving acts are in our society so that, in the event one is in a car accident, he or she may know what to look for.

One growing problem across the country is drugged driving. Depending on the type of drug that has caused a motorist's intoxication, the effects can be just dangerous as or worse than those seen when alcohol is involved. Benzodiazepines can leave a driver tired and dizzy, marijuana can slow reaction time, and methamphetamine and cocaine can result in aggressive driving behaviors. These deteriorations in driving skills put not only the drugged motorist in harm's way, but it may also put innocent individuals in the path of destruction.

Perhaps even more concerning is the frequency at which people are driving while under the influence of drugs. According to a study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 10 million Americans admitted to driving while drugged over the year leading up to the survey. A significant portion of fatal accidents and traffic fatalities are caused by drugged drivers, making the matter all the more pressing.

Although adequate roadside testing doesn't yet exist for illicit drugs, a victim of an accident caused by one of these negligent drivers may still be able to gather evidence to pursue a personal injury claim. The standard of proof is much lower in these lawsuits than in criminal proceedings, which means that a victim may not need the equivalent of a breathalyzer test result to see success on his or her claim. Those who have suffered extensive damages, such as pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages, as a result of one of these wrecks may want to consider speaking with a qualified legal professional to determine how best to proceed.

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