Most people are aware of the dangers that driving under the influence of alcohol presents. They know that alcohol can alter a person's reaction time, perception and motor control, all of which could lead to drunk driving accidents. However, a growing concern in Ohio is the number of people who drive while under the influence of drugs.
The Governor's Highway Safety Association, along with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, has reported that, for the first time ever, the number of deadly accidents associated with drugged driving in 2015 was greater than the number of deadly accidents associated with drunk driving. In fact, the Ohio Department of Transportation also claims that in Ohio, since 2012, there has been a 25 percent uptick in accidents involving a drugged driver. In 2016, approximately 33 percent of crashes caused by an impaired driver involved drugged driving.
According to the GHSA report, when it came to deadly accidents, approximately 43 percent of motorists tested had drugs in their system, while only 37 percent of motorists had a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 percent. For those motorists who had drugs in their system at the time of a deadly accident, more than one-third tested positive for marijuana, and more than nince percent of motorists tested had amphetamines in their system. While opioids were not one of the drugs included in the report, it is thought by AAA that opioid use, whether it is from illegal or legal opioid drugs, played a significant role in drugged driving accidents.
An AAA survey reveals that drivers in Ohio are concerned about drugged driving. Seventy-five percent of the respondents to the survey reported that those who drive under the influence of illegal drugs pose a greater threat than those who drive under the influence of alcohol. Only 66 percent of respondents to the survey reported that those who drive under the influence of alcohol pose a greater threat than those who drive under the influence of illegal drugs.
In the end, those who choose to drive while drunk, or after having taken drugs, need to be held accountable for the accidents they cause. Sometimes the only way to do this is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. By taking legal action, it sends the message that drunk driving and drugged driving will not be tolerated in Ohio.
Source: Dayton Daily News, "Drug use passes drinking in fatal crashes," Randy Tucker, April 27, 2017