Drugged Driving Accidents Increase in Tennessee

Posted On: October 27, 2016 under

According to data recently released by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, drugged driving is now a bigger cause of deaths on the state’s roads than drunk and distracted driving. In just one recent example, in 2015 a semi truck near Chattanooga slammed into the back of a Toyota Prius, causing a massive pileup that eventually involved seven cars and 18 people. Six people were killed and four injured in the accident, which was found to be the result of the driver’s drug use, exhaustion, and failure to slow down when entering a work zone. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of fatal accidents caused by drugged drivers increased by 89 percent. Experts believe this rise corresponds to the rise in prescription drug abuse.

Thanks to school programs and years of widespread public discussion, everyone is aware of the dangers of drunk driving. Drugged driving, however, is often overlooked in these conversations. It’s a trickier topic because while most people recognize that driving while using illegal drugs isn’t safe, they often don’t believe that it can be equally dangerous to drive while taking medication a doctor has prescribed. For police officers, it is often harder to spot drugged driving than it is to spot drunk driving, which makes it harder to recognize risk factors and prevent accidents.

Clearly, illegal drug use combined with operating any vehicle is a terrible idea. But people must also recognize that their judgment can be impaired by legal prescription and over-the-counter medications, and they should adjust their driving accordingly. When you’re behind the wheel, the last thing you want is to be unable to make a quick, accurate decision; to be tired and unfocused; to have impaired vision, or to have slowed reflexes. Each of these can literally be the difference between life and death.

Consult a skilled car accident attorney if you have been injured in a drugged driving accident.