As Drunk Driving Accidents Decrease Drugged Driving Accidents Increase
According to a study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, fatal drunk driving accidents have gone by more than 25% in the last 15 years. While this is certainly good news, not all the news around fatal car accident numbers is positive. For example, the overall number of fatal car accidents has remained relatively the same.
When you consider that more than 25% of all fatal car accidents involve drunk driving, it might seem that fewer drunk driving deaths would equal fewer overall deaths in car accidents. Why is this not true? Some experts believe it all has to do with increases in drugged driving accidents.
The Results of a Roadside Survey
The survey referenced above found that just 1% of drivers who were stopped on a weekday during the daylight hours had alcohol in their system and fewer than 0.4% of them were over the legal limit. However, in that same time period more than 20% of drivers had drugs in their system and above half of those people were using legal drugs or medications while the other half were using illegal drugs.
When the survey looked at nighttime drivers, there was more alcohol use but drug use stayed about the same. Around 8% of those stopped had alcohol on their system and 1.5% of them were drunk driving per California laws. The survey again found that about 22% had drugs in their systems, though about 15% had illegal drugs instead of 7% with legal medications.
Why is Drugged Driving Allowed?
This might seem complicated but the truth is that it is challenging to determine if someone was on drugs in most traffic accidents. Additionally, while everyone knows that it is illegal and unsafe to drive while drunk, many people do not realize that their medications or marijuana can impair their driving as much as they do. Add to that the complications involved in testing for drugs versus testing for alcohol BAC and it is difficult to determine with any certainty if someone was on drugs at the time of a traffic stop.
Personal Injury Cases Are Different Than Legal Cases
It can be difficult to prove that someone was under the influence of drugs at a particular moment because many drugs stay in the bloodstream for days or even weeks. However, when you are proving that someone was on drugs during a personal injury accident, the burden of proof is much lower. You only need to prove that it is more likely than not that the other person was on drugs.
If drugs were present in their system and they were driving dangerously, then this might convince a jury or judge that the person was more likely than not driving while drugged – which can make a big difference in a personal injury case. To learn more, contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707.