The White House is collaborating with Mothers against Drunk Driving in a new initiative to reduce the number of fatal auto accidents caused every year by drivers under the influence of drugs.While intoxicated driving gets more than its share of attention, as personal injury attorneys have observed, the fact is that the number of car accidents involving drugged motorists has been steadily increasing. Auto accidents caused by drivers under the influence of drugs often result in severe personal injury and wrongful death.
The new initiative was launched by the National Drug Control Policy and Mothers against Drunk Driving.The partnership will increase awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs.According to Mothers against Drunk Driving, it has already launched a nationwide campaign against driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs. MADD is also pushing for tougher law enforcement to enforce laws against driving under the influence of narcotics.The drug control policy office will also be releasing educational materials about the dangers of drugged driving, targeted at parents and teenagers.
Driving under the influence of drugs has an adverse effect on a motorist’s driving abilities.These effects are similar to the effects of intoxicated driving.A motorist’s judgment and abilities may be impacted, and his responses may be weakened.Additionally, drugs can affect a person’s motor abilities and his coordination, impacting his driving.
The time is right for an initiative like this.According to the drug policy office, 3,952 drivers who were killed in car accidents in 2009 tested positive for drugs.Drivers under the age of 25 were at the highest risk of drugged driving.One out of every four drivers killed in car accidents linked to drugged driving belonged to this age group.That accounts for 18% of all fatalities that year.
The number of drivers testing positive for drugs after a fatal accident has increased by a staggering 40% since 2005.Drivers who tested positive for narcotics use increased by 36%, and for depressant use increased by 39%.In 2009, Cannabinoids and narcotics were involved in most fatal drugged accidents.These were factors in close to 50% of all fatal car accidents involving drivers who tested positive for drugs.
Male and female drivers were involved in accidents involving different types of drugs.For instance, women were more likely to be involved in accidents involving drivers under the influence of depressants.Male drivers were more likely to be involved in accidents involving the use of stimulants and cannabinoids.Federal data also shows a large number of drivers driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs.Among those drivers who tested positive for drug use after an accident, about 50% had alcohol also in their system.
At least part of this increase in drugged driving car accident deaths has to do with the fact that federal and state agencies have ignored the threat from driving under the influence of alcohol.Most of the focus has been on drunk driving, and drugged driving has not received the attention it deserves.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in car accidents across Atlanta and Georgia.