Thanks to a decades-long campaign to get drunk drivers off the road, people living in Pennsylvania are well aware of the perils of drinking and driving. Sometimes, however, people are not as aware of the very real problem of drugged driving, which is getting behind the wheel after using legal or illegal drugs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has initiated efforts to raise awareness of this problem. The agency called for a summit in March 2018 and is hoping to work with local and state officials on tracking the problem of impaired driving, educating the public and developing workable solutions.
Part of the reason for this initiative is that the culture surrounding the use of intoxicating substances has changed significantly over the past few years. Marijuana is increasingly being decriminalized or even legalized in some states, raising concerns about people using cannabis and then driving. In addition, the opioid crisis contributes to the number of drugged drivers on the road.
The consequences of driving under the influence of these substances can be severe. Drivers may experience slow reaction times and exercise poor judgment on the road. As a result, the risk of car accidents increases. Victims of these accidents can suffer horrific injuries that may be fatal, cause permanent disability or require a long recovery time.
Individuals who have been the victim of a drugged driver may benefit from speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney. A lawyer may be able to review the client’s case and make recommendations for receiving compensation for pain and suffering and lost wages. In cases where the victim died, a lawyer might help the victim’s family file a wrongful death suit.