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What are the dangers of an auto accident after drug use?

In Florida and across the country, people drunk driving and the accidents it causes is an issue that is still prevalent in spite of law enforcement cracking down on it. Those who believe that legality of certain substances means that it is okay to drive after having used them are frightfully mistaken. One issue that has come to the forefront for drivers is using various drugs - legal and illegal - prior to driving.

The facts surrounding drug use and driving are such that it is known to be dangerous; those who have been hurt in a crash need to understand how important an investigation is to determine what substances the driver of the vehicle might have been using prior to the crash. Similar to driving after drinking, using drugs that are considered "mind-altering" and operating a vehicle is illegal. There are many dangers involved with drugged driving as these substances influence how the brain operates. They can impair coordination, motor skills, reactions, attentiveness and ability to judge situations.

Although most people are aware of the danger and illegality of driving under the influence of drugs, studies indicate that it doesn't stop some drivers from doing it. In 2013, 3.8 percent of people 12 and older admitted to having operated a vehicle after using illegal drugs in the previous year. The numbers have declined from 2012 when 3.9 percent admitted to driving while drugged. And it's significantly lower than in 2002 when the percentage was 14.2 percent.

That willingness to drive while under the influence has consequences. For example, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that in 2009 as many as 18 percent of fatal accidents in which the driver died involved drug use.

And it didn't just have to be illegal drugs: prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs can be dangerous tool.

Considering the damage and serious injuries that can result from an auto accident, it's imperative that those who were affected have a legal advocate to determine whether an accident was the result of a driver who was using drugs to pursue a legal filing and have a strong basis to win the case.

Source: drugabuse.gov, "DrugFacts: Drugged Driving," accessed on Mar. 24, 2015

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