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Drugged Driving Linked to 25% of Wrongful Death Accidents

Yet another study indicates increased car accident risks when people are driving under the influence of drugs.A new study that has just been published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs has found that a quarter of about 44,000 American drivers, who were involved in fatal accidents between 1998 and 2009, had drugs in their system at the time of the accident.

The researchers analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.They found that in approximately a quarter of the fatal accidents during this period of time, the motorist tested positive for drugs, while 37% had blood-alcohol levels greater than the .08% legally allowed limit.The most common drugs that were involved in fatal accidents were amphetamines, marijuana and cocaine. One of the first thing Car accident attorneys look for in any wrongful death accident is the involvement of drugs or alcohol.

Certain drugs seem to be linked to certain kinds of reckless driving practices.For instance, stimulants were linked to most wrongful death accidents, especially those that involve speeding, inattention, and failure to obey traffic laws.Stimulants were also linked to accidents in which occupants were not wearing seat belts.On the other hand, marijuana was most often linked to failure to wear seatbelts, and driving at excessive speeds.

The researchers also looked at accidents that involved the use of both drugs and alcohol, and found that a combination of drugs and alcohol did not seem to increase the risks of impaired driving.When the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol alone, then alcohol was the main contributing factor in the impaired driving, and it did not really matter if the driver had been using other drugs too.The effect of drugs only seems to kick in if the driver had not been drinking alcohol.

The results seem to conclude that the effect of the use of drugs on driving is much more dramatic than safety groups and Atlanta car accident attorneys have feared.Additionally, the actual number of people driving with drugs in their system and involved in fatal accidents could be much more than the study reveals.Drug testing isn’t easy, because some drugs stay in the person’s system for a longer time, and others are eliminated easily. It’s also hard to pinpoint exactly what kind of effect a particular drug can have on a person’s accident risks.

The study focused on the link between non-prescription drugs or narcotics and the likelihood of impaired driving accidents.However, there are other types of drugged driving that Atlanta car accident attorneys are concerned about.There is increasing evidence of accidents caused by persons driving under the influence of prescription drugs.The number of Americans on medications for diabetes, hypertension and a host of other conditions has increased, and that has meant more numbers of people driving under the influence of not just one drug, but a combination of drugs.The interactions between these drugs could impair a person’s ability to drive safely, increasing the risks of an accident. See, Drugs and Driving.