Drugged driving occurs when the intoxicating effects of drugs compromise a person’s ability to drive. Although impaired driving is commonly associated with alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs may be just as life-threatening. In 2020, 56% of drivers involved in severe or deadly vehicle accidents took at least one drug.
Thus, learning about the types of impairing substances and their impact on driving can help drivers make responsible decisions on the road to prevent injuries and deaths.
Drug use while driving can kill
Different drugs affect the human body in unique ways. So, the severity of drug use may depend on the individual and the situation. For example, when taken on their own, some drugs may not have significant effects on a driver. However, when mixed with alcohol, the driver may be too drugged to be behind the wheel.
- Illicit drugs: Marijuana can weaken vigilance, coordination and reaction time, while methamphetamine and cocaine can lead to aggression and recklessness. Further, hallucinogens can alter sensory experiences, disrupting depth and time perception.
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications: Opioids, benzodiazepines, antidepressants and sedatives can cause drowsiness, dizziness and mental confusion.
- Antihistamines: Benadryl, for instance, can slow down reaction time and interfere with clear thinking.
Studies show that the risks of drugged driving mostly affect teens and older adults. Teenagers’ inexperience, impulsive behavior and intake of drugs make a lethal combination. On the other hand, senior adults may unintentionally consume a dosage of drugs more than they should due to mental decline.
Smart driving choices can save lives
The public can prevent drugged driving before it wreaks havoc on the road. Parents can proactively discuss drug-impaired driving’s negative consequences with their teen drivers. Also, families or groups of friends can appoint a designated sober driver. Unfortunately, car crashes can still happen despite preventive measures. When they do, injured parties can speak with their Florida legal team about how to proceed with their claim.