While Virginia police officers are trained to identify and stop impaired drivers, they can't be everywhere at all times. Sadly, far too many impaired drivers go unnoticed until it's too late — when someone has been severely hurt in a crash or lost their life.
Despite a significant reduction over the past three decades, drunk driving crashes still cause more than 10,000 fatalities across the United States each year. This represents roughly 29 percent of all traffic fatalities. Approximately 220 children were killed in drunk driving fatalities in 2017 — more than half were passengers in a car with an impaired driver.
Drug impairment is just as dangerous as drunk driving
Whether caused by alcohol, prescription drugs, or other substances, impaired driving is a widespread problem, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Today, more people are prescribed drugs that can be dangerous to take when behind the wheel. What's worse, there are many people who abuse prescription drugs.
“Almost everyone knows that driving drunk is dangerous, puts lives at risk, and can get you a DUI – but there isn’t the same awareness for drug-impaired driving,” said Heidi King, NHTSA Deputy Administrator.
According to the NHTSA, drug-impaired driving may increase the risk of a crash due to:
- Reduced reaction time, impaired judgment, and poor coordination
- Aggressiveness and reckless behavior
- Drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and dangerous side effects of prescription meds
- Increased impairment due to mixing substances
Awareness is key to prevention
To prevent impaired driving, the NHTSA offers these useful tips:
- If you're going to consume alcohol, make sure you plan on having a designated driver or taking an Uber home.
- Prescription medications and marijuana can cause impairment just like alcohol. If you use either, do not get behind the wheel.
- If you see a drunk or drug-impaired driver on the road, make sure you pull over and call 911 immediately.
- If a friend or relative intends to drive impaired, be sure to intervene and arrange for safer transportation.
Unfortunately, not everyone will consider these safety precautions, and it is the responsible road users who pay the price.
If the actions of a drunk or drug-impaired driver caused your crash, your injuries may be serious enough to require immediate and long-term medical attention. During this time, you may not be able to attend work and earn a paycheck or engage in activities you enjoy.
You shouldn't have to pay for someone else's reckless behavior. Let the experienced Roanoke car accident attorneys at Davis, Davis, Davis & Davis, PC work for you. We'll take on the at-fault driver's insurance company and fight to help you recover every penny you're entitled to.
Set up your free case evaluation. Contact us online today.