Drug Impaired Driving - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Friday, 22 December 2017

Drug Impaired Driving

#AskZevBergman

The government’s plans to decriminalize the use of marijuana has yet to become law in Canada, but it has already caused people to ask questions about the effect the legislation will have upon safety on the nation’s highways. Drug impaired drivers are already a major cause of fatal accidents. In a survey of young people who admitted to using marijuana, 22 percent of them acknowledged driving while impaired at least once.Driving while impaired by drugs has caused almost twice as many fatalities in road crashes as have alcohol-related collisions.

Types of drugs contributing to impaired driving

Someone having dinner with friends might think twice before having another glass of wine out of concern about driving while impaired. Whether it is the increased risk of having an accident or the fines and possible jail sentence associated with a criminal conviction, the number of alcohol-related accidents has decline. However, accidents caused by drug impaired driving have increased.

 One reason for the increase in drug-related vehicle crashes could be related to a lack of information on the part of drivers about the effects of the medications they take. The following are some of the commonly prescribed medications that could impair a person’s ability to drive safely:

  • Opioids: Commonly prescribed opioids are OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet, Vicodin and Lomotil. These medications are used to relieve pain, but they can cause drowsiness and confusion.
  • Benzodiazepines: Examples of this class of drug used to treat anxiety are Valium and Xanax. Benzodiazepines can cause impaired balance, confusion, memory impairment and drowsiness.
  • Amphetamines: Adderall is an example of a medication in this category used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. Side effects could include dizziness and hostility or paranoia.

People should always ask their doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of any medications prescribed for them. It is also important for people not to take prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications without first checking with their doctor or pharmacist about any potential side effects.

Effects of drugs on your driving abilities

Drugs affect the way in which your brain and body functions and can impair your abilities in the following areas:

  • Judgment
  • Reflexes
  • Coordination and balance
  • Motor skills
  • Attention
  • Reaction time

 Even over-the-counter cold remedies can make you tired and sleepy. This can have deadly consequences if you are driving a car. Up to 21 percent of collisions are attributable to a driver being tired and fatigued.

Marijuana use and driving is a particularly troublesome combination. A survey showed that 44 percent of people who admitted to driving while under the influence of marijuana did not believe it affected their driving abilities. In fact, marijuana can cause the following:

  • Slowed reaction times: A driver under the influence of marijuana could be unable to apply the brakes quickly enough to avoid colliding with another vehicle or person.
  • Alteration of time: A driver’s ability to judge time is impaired by the use of cannabis. Some drivers might become impatient and ignore a red traffic signal while others might remain stopped long after the light has turned green.

Marijuana can be particularly dangerous when a person has also been drinking. The combination of the drug and the alcohol can make drivers who are impaired believe they are not and take chances they might not normally take.

Help with your personal injury claim 

If you have been in an accident caused by a drug impaired driver, you could be entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffered. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience successfully representing victims injured in crashes caused by the negligence of other parties.Our 24/7 injury hotline is available at 1-800-567-HURT or you can visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices are located throughout Ontario.

#AskZevBergman

The government’s plans to decriminalize the use of marijuana has yet to become law in Canada, but it has already caused people to ask questions about the effect the legislation will have upon safety on the nation’s highways. Drug impaired drivers are already a major cause of fatal accidents. In a survey of young people who admitted to using marijuana, 22 percent of them acknowledged driving while impaired at least once.Driving while impaired by drugs has caused almost twice as many fatalities in road crashes as have alcohol-related collisions.

Types of drugs contributing to impaired driving

Someone having dinner with friends might think twice before having another glass of wine out of concern about driving while impaired. Whether it is the increased risk of having an accident or the fines and possible jail sentence associated with a criminal conviction, the number of alcohol-related accidents has decline. However, accidents caused by drug impaired driving have increased.

 One reason for the increase in drug-related vehicle crashes could be related to a lack of information on the part of drivers about the effects of the medications they take. The following are some of the commonly prescribed medications that could impair a person’s ability to drive safely:

  • Opioids: Commonly prescribed opioids are OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet, Vicodin and Lomotil. These medications are used to relieve pain, but they can cause drowsiness and confusion.
  • Benzodiazepines: Examples of this class of drug used to treat anxiety are Valium and Xanax. Benzodiazepines can cause impaired balance, confusion, memory impairment and drowsiness.
  • Amphetamines: Adderall is an example of a medication in this category used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. Side effects could include dizziness and hostility or paranoia.

People should always ask their doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of any medications prescribed for them. It is also important for people not to take prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications without first checking with their doctor or pharmacist about any potential side effects.

Effects of drugs on your driving abilities

Drugs affect the way in which your brain and body functions and can impair your abilities in the following areas:

  • Judgment
  • Reflexes
  • Coordination and balance
  • Motor skills
  • Attention
  • Reaction time

 Even over-the-counter cold remedies can make you tired and sleepy. This can have deadly consequences if you are driving a car. Up to 21 percent of collisions are attributable to a driver being tired and fatigued.

Marijuana use and driving is a particularly troublesome combination. A survey showed that 44 percent of people who admitted to driving while under the influence of marijuana did not believe it affected their driving abilities. In fact, marijuana can cause the following:

  • Slowed reaction times: A driver under the influence of marijuana could be unable to apply the brakes quickly enough to avoid colliding with another vehicle or person.
  • Alteration of time: A driver’s ability to judge time is impaired by the use of cannabis. Some drivers might become impatient and ignore a red traffic signal while others might remain stopped long after the light has turned green.

Marijuana can be particularly dangerous when a person has also been drinking. The combination of the drug and the alcohol can make drivers who are impaired believe they are not and take chances they might not normally take.

Help with your personal injury claim 

If you have been in an accident caused by a drug impaired driver, you could be entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffered. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience successfully representing victims injured in crashes caused by the negligence of other parties.Our 24/7 injury hotline is available at 1-800-567-HURT or you can visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices are located throughout Ontario.

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