Around 18% of all severely injured drivers had at least one over-the-counter, illicit, or prescription drug before the car accident.
Most people in the United States understand the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol, but many are seemingly unaware of the danger of driving under the influence of illicit drugs that affect the mind and brain function of the driver.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and several other national organizations, run a number of campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of intoxicated driving. The organizations have spent a lot of money, effort, and time to educate people throughout the country about the need for driving safe without the influence of any drugs or alcohol.
Unfortunately some people still indulge in intoxicated driving. There are a number of instances where people do not understand that the consumption of any psychoactive drugs, even if they have been prescribed by a family physician, before driving will only increase the risk of getting involved in an accident. Given the high prevalence of using neuropharmaceutical drugs, it is time to educate people about the effects of these drugs on a person’s driving capability and why it is important to avoid any such drugs while driving.
The Extent of the Problem
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) has made an attempt to find out the national and state level statistics on the use of illicit drugs. According to the latest NSDUH survey, around 4% of Americans said that they had indulged in driving under the influence of illicit drugs in the past year. The actual number of people who drove under the influence of drugs could be even higher, because people tend to hide the truth when taking a survey about something that might harm their reputation. The study also found that while many people understand the dangers of drunk driving, most of them overlook the importance of avoiding drugged driving.
Why Drugged Driving is Dangerous
The problem of drugged driving is far more complicated than that of drunk driving. It is difficult to set a legal limit for blood drug level because different people react differently to the same amount of drug.
Around 18% of all severely injured drivers had at least one over-the-counter, illicit, or prescription drug before the accident, according to a 2009 survey conducted by the NHTSA. The study also found that 50% of the injured drivers who had some kind of drug before the accident consumed Cannabis, 29.3% took Cocaine, and 14.8% had Opiates.
Some Safety Tips for You
Of course, you should not drive under the influence of any illicit or prescription drugs. If you are currently taking any prescription drugs, you may be a little confused about whether it is a psychoactive drug. The best way to clear up any such confusion is by talking to your doctor.