You know the dangers of drunk and distracted driving. There are always commercials and huge national campaigns to warn against these behaviors. What you should not overlook is the danger of drugged drivers. According to a recent study released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, more fatal crashes were caused by drugs than alcohol.
NBC News reporting on the study notes that this involves all drug types, both illegal and prescription. This proves there is a serious risk for drivers like you on the road. Keep reading for some more pertinent information about drugged drivers.
Illegal drug impairment
Illegal drugs cause impairment in various ways, including:
- Marijuana: Euphoria, drowsiness, altered space perception and paranoia
- Methamphetamine: Hallucinations, insomnia, delusions and reduced impulse control
- Cocaine: Dizziness, excitement, aggressiveness and irritability
Due to these serious consequences of drug use, it is illegal in North Carolina to drive with any detectable amount of an illegal drug while driving.
Prescription drug impairment
Certain drugs that are legally purchased can be dangerous for motorists too. For example, certain antidepressants cause sedation with similar effects of drinking alcohol. Valium causes drowsiness and impairment as well. If a driver takes these drugs and drives, he or she could easily cause an accident.
Limitations and mixing drugs
It is worth noting that the study mentioned earlier does have some limitations. For example, the data is only based on the detection of drugs rather than the exact amount. Therefore, it is hard to compare it to a blood alcohol content reading. Many drivers may combine substances, making matters worse. If someone smokes marijuana and takes a sedative antidepressant, they would be badly impaired.
Now that you know this information, you should use it as a reminder to always drive safely. You may not know if other drivers are drunk or impaired by drugs. Always drive defensively and keep your distance if you notice erratic behavior.