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Police throughout Tennessee are continuing to crack down on the number of drunk drivers on the state’s highways and interstates, but there’s another growing problem that can be harder to detect: drugged and impaired driving.
Whether they’re under the influence of over-the-counter, prescription, or illicit drugs, drivers who get behind the wheel while impaired in any way can be just as dangerous to themselves, their passengers, and other drivers as those who drive while intoxicated due to alcohol consumption.
Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when you are mentally and physically impaired in any way is dangerous. And while most people are aware of the dangers of drunk driving, the dangers of drugged and impaired driving—especially when it’s done under the influence of legal drugs and medications—is less clear and less well-known by the general public.
People who drive while on legal or illegal drugs and medications experience a variety of debilitating effects, such as:
Safe driving requires the ability to make good, safe decisions and judgments quickly and without hesitation. Drivers who are under the influence of medications and illegal drugs often display poor judgment and decision-making skills that is often manifested through risky behaviors like speeding, running red lights, failing to stop at stop signs, following other vehicles too closely, and changing lanes without checking to see if the lane is clear.
Drivers who get behind the wheel while fatigued or sleep-deprived put themselves and others at high risk of serious accidents and injuries. Many legal and illegal drugs have side effects that include excessive sleepiness and drowsiness—both of which can have rapid onset and occur without warning. Because people who take prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and illegal substances may react differently with every dose, they should never get behind the wheel while under the influence.
Being able to successfully and safely drive a vehicle requires clear vision and good depth perception in order to determine distances between your vehicle and other objects or vehicles on the roadway. Many legal and illegal drugs can interfere with drivers’ ability to see the road clearly and easily gauge how close or far away certain objects are from their own vehicles.
Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye—literally. That’s why it’s vital for drivers to have quick reflexes when they get behind the wheel. Being able to quickly brake or turn the steering wheel away from another vehicle can mean the difference between avoiding a collision and suffering serious injuries. Many drugs dramatically slow down the reflexes and reaction times of people who use them, which means they’re much less likely to react in time to avoid potential accidents while driving.
Because police currently don’t have a quick and efficient way to test for drug-related impairment in drivers, more and more drugged drivers who are under in the influence of both legal and illegal substances are ending up on Tennessee’s roadways and posing significant risks to other drivers.
If you or someone you love was injured by a drugged or impaired driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair costs. The Nashville drugged driving attorneys at Matt Hardin Law can help prove that the driver who caused the accident was impaired at the time of the collision and hold him or her responsible for your accident-related expenses.
Get in touch with our legal team today and let us begin building a case on your behalf that can maximize your chances of getting the money you deserve. Just dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free and confidential online form.