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The dangers of drugged driving

Taking drugs that affect the function of the mind prior to driving a vehicle is not just perilous but also illegal, similar to drinking and driving. While every illicit drug has a distinct affect on the brain, all illicit drugs impair the functions necessary for a person to drive safely, according to authorities. Many New Jersey motorists already understand that drugs may adversely affect their judgment, perception, reaction time, attention, motor skills and coordination.

Data from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that 3.9 percent of drivers older than 11 confessed to drugged driving in 2011. That amounts to approximately 10.3 million people.

The NSDUH reports that women are less likely than men to drive after using illicit drugs, while drivers in the 18-to-25 age group are more likely to take drugs before driving than any other age group. Another survey found that 14.1 percent of seniors in high school admitted to drugged driving after using marijuana in the two weeks prior to being surveyed.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration roadside survey indicates that 16 percent of motorists traveling on weekend nights tested positive for over-the-counter, prescription and illegal drugs. More than 11 percent tested positive for illicit drugs, reportedly.

If someone is proven to have been driving under the influence of drugs at the time of a car accident, injured victims could file a personal injury claim against the impaired driver, typically with the counsel and guidance of an attorney. By these means, injured victims might hold the impaired driver accountable for the incident and be compensated for medical costs and lost wages stemming from the accident.

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse , "DrugFacts: Drugged Driving", December 06, 2014

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