There is a public health crisis in this country – drugged driving. Gainesville, accident attorney, Jeffrey Meldon, explains its hazards and which prescription, OTC, and illicit drugs are contributing to it.
Why is “drugged driving” so hazardous?
It is important to understand how drugged driving affects the body to tackle this public health crisis.
Prescription, illicit, or over-the-counter drugs may affect the brain’s critical evaluation process and communication with muscles and organs. Drugs may also affect the central nervous system, according to UF’s Professor Bruce Goldberger, Director of Toxicology.
Drug-impaired driving affects a driver’s ability to track, perception, judgment, attention, coordination, and reaction time. While driving under the influence, a driver may experience: drowsiness, fatigue, memory lapse, or even “sleep driving.”
In short, drugged driving costs us $33,000,000,000 every year, not including human life, and puts us all at risk.
What types of illicit drugs contribute to “drugged driving?”
It’s estimated that 20% of crashes involve drugs.
Overall, marijuana is the most prevalent illicit drug detected in impaired drivers and crash victims. Runners up include cocaine and methamphetamines, according to the NHTSA 2007 Roadside Survey. Other drugs implicated are opiates and amphetamines.
Drivers should be aware of the phenomena known as “synergism,” when using multiple drugs or mixing drugs with alcohol. Synergism may cause adverse reactions, especially when driving.
Remember, driving and drugs don’t mix-help keep Florida streets safe.
What types of Prescription or “Over-the-Counter” drugs may contribute to “drugged driving?”
Driving while impaired by “legal” drugs is a major public health hazard. While I’m not a doctor, it’s common knowledge that each person may react to a medication differently. Plus, use of multiple medications may cause unexpected, adverse reactions.
Here are some legal drugs that don’t mix with driving:
- Robituson (cough medicine);
- Bendadryl or Sudafed;
- Chantix (stop smoking);
- Ambien (sleep medication );
- Prozac or Zooloft (antidepressants);
- Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax); and
- Marijuana (in permissive use states).
If it’s the first time you’ve taken a medication or you’re not sure about a combination, err on the side of caution-don’t drive. Consult your doctor and pharmacist. Don’t drive if a drug’s warning label states: “May cause drowsiness” or “Do not operate machinery while taking this medication.”
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We at Meldon Law strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of an accident or in the recovery from one.
We are experienced personal injury attorneys, trial lawyers, negotiators, litigators, paralegals, and staff that have been proudly working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Inverness, and the rest of North Central Florida and North Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, and motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.
Based on Jeffrey Meldon’s, founder of Meldon Law, over 40 years of helping accident victims get justice and a fair shake from the insurance companies, he has written the consumer guide book, Seven Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Florida Accident Case. You can request your free, no obligation copy right now, or contact our office for your complimentary copy sent to you today.
Contact Meldon Law at (800) 373-8000 or (352) 373-8000 immediately if you have been involved in a serious auto, truck, or motorcycle accident. We are in your community, have the experience and resources required to work towards obtaining a fair settlement for you – we are here to help you.