According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 43.6 percent of fatally injured drivers in 2016 tested positive for drugs, and over half of those drivers were positive for two or more drugs. Negligent drivers cause car accidents by failing to follow traffic rules, staying aware of other drivers, keeping a distance from other vehicles, maintaining their cars, and speeding and driving recklessly.
In addition, a driver can fail to stay alert at the wheel and ignore road conditions and traffic flow because they have consumed medication prescribed by an assumed trustworthy pharmacist or physician.
How Do Impaired Driving Accidents Happen?
Typically, most of us trust our doctors and pharmacists undoubtedly. We assume that a licensed professional such as a medical doctor, a pharmacist, or even our mechanic will have our best interest in mind when we use them to provide a necessary service. Unfortunately, sometimes mistakes are made, or these professionals might put their interests and profits first over the well-being of their patients and customers. A medical professional can prescribe the wrong medication based on a misdiagnosis due to insufficient testing or evaluation.
Even when your doctor correctly orders the appropriate exams and the correct treatment and medicines, mistakes are possible. A pharmacist unfamiliar with your medical records or other prescription medicine may fill a prescription that will cause side effects. Also, a pharmacist may not interpret a prescription satisfactorily or fail to ask if you have any allergies or take other certain medicines that may interact with the new medication. Either an allergic response or an unfavorable mix of medicines can lead to an impaired ability for someone to properly drive their vehicle on the road.
Is Drugged Driving More Dangerous Than Drunk Driving?
There is no clear answer to this question. Both drugged driving and drunk driving are very dangerous, and they can both lead to car accidents. However, drugged driving is usually more complex than driving under the influence of alcohol.
Various drugs can potentially impair driving ability. Ranging from prescription medication to over-the-counter medications for pain, allergies, or cold symptoms, many drugs can have side effects that make it dangerous to operate a vehicle.
Illegal drugs also fall into this category. Different drugs can have different effects on a person, and some people are more susceptible to the impairing effects of certain drugs than others. This makes it difficult to say definitively which is more dangerous.
How Can Prescription Drugs cause a Car Accident?
A prescription drug is a medication that a doctor prescribes. The government regulates these drugs, and they can only be obtained with a prescription from a doctor. Prescription drugs are typically used to treat medical conditions, but they can also be used for other purposes, such as to relieve pain or to help people sleep.
There are many ways that prescription medications can cause a car accident. The most common way is if the medication impairs the driver. This can happen if the driver is taking prescription drugs such as a sedative or narcotic pain medication. These types of drugs can make it difficult for the driver to concentrate, and they may also make it difficult for the driver to react in a timely manner.
Another way prescription drugs can cause a car accident is if the medication causes the driver to have an allergic reaction. This can happen if the driver is taking a medication that they are allergic to or taking a medication that interacts with another medication they are taking. If the driver has an allergic reaction, they may have difficulty breathing and lose consciousness. If this happens, it can be very difficult for the driver to control their vehicle, and they may end up in an accident.
Over the Counter Medicines
Over-the-counter medications are typically used to treat minor medical conditions, such as headaches or colds. There are many types of over-the-counter medicines that people take every day. The government does not regulate these medicines, and they can be obtained without a prescription from a doctor.
Like prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications can also have side effects. Some of these medications’ most common side effects include drowsiness, nausea, and cramping. It is important to always read the label on an over-the-counter medicine before taking it to know of any potential side effects.
If you are taking any allergy medication, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects. Many allergy medications can cause:
- A heart rate increase
- Blood pressure to drop
Other Side Effects that Can Impair a Person’s Ability to Drive
Many other side effects can impair a person’s ability to drive safely. Other medications can cause:
- Blurred vision
Many other side effects can impair a person’s ability to drive. If you are taking a medication with any of these side effects, it is important to make sure that you do not drive while taking it.
How Does the Other Driver’s Prescription Drug Use Impact Your Claim?
Typically, when insurance claims are filed after a moving vehicle collision, the insurance company adjusters want to assess and designate liability for the damages involved quickly. If the other driver was at fault for the accident and used prescription drugs, their insurance company may be held responsible for any damages you incur.
However, if the other driver was not at fault for the accident, their insurance company will not be liable. If you or someone you know is involved in a car crash and have been injured due to a negligent driver, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced legal professional who can investigate all aspects of the case and give you the best possible defense available.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys Today
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we take pride in our thorough representation of residents in the Clearwater area and their families. We place the needs of our clients first when engaged in legal battles with insurance companies. Our lawyers are dedicated to fighting for your fair outcome.