Alcohol and Drug Use Can Impair a Person's Driving Ability

Alcohol and Drug Use Can Impair a Person's Driving Ability

It's extremely dangerous as well as illegal in numerous states to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any mind-altering substance but unfortunately, drugged driving is a common occurrence anymore. The risk of a person having a fatal accident is tripled with drug use and when it comes to combining drugs and alcohol together, the risk is twenty three times higher.

Sadly with the drastic increased misuse of prescription drugs in the past several years, drugged driving is even more of a major concern in the U.S. and various parts of the country.

When a person's operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, their not only risking their own life, passengers and the other innocent people on the road are in danger as well. Drugged driving is very hazardous, the effects specific drugs of abuse have on the brain vary but they all can have a negative effect on a person's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle because they impair the following necessary faculties:

  • Motor skills
  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Perception
  • Attention
  • Reaction time
  • Judgment

Unfortunately far too many people drive while under the influence of drugs, an estimated 10.3 million individuals aged twelve and older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the prior year of being surveyed, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports data from the NSDUH shows; men being more likely to drive under the influence of alcohol or an illicit drug and that the age group more likely to drive after taking drugs were young adults, eighteen to twenty five years old.

NIDA also reports after alcohol, THC being the most common substance found in impaired drivers blood, fatally injured drivers, and motor vehicle crash victims. There are other drugs that are commonly implicated in accidents according to NIDA, these include opiates, amphetamines, benzodiazepines and cocaine.

Drugged Driving Among Teens

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports vehicle crashes as being the primary cause of death among those aged sixteen to nineteen years of age. NIDA also states "When teens' relative lack of driving experience is combined with the use of marijuana or other substances that affect cognitive and motor abilities, the results can be tragic."

Even prescribed painkillers, tranquilizers and other medications can impair a person's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. When a person's under the influence of drugs and alcohol, they're putting countless lives in danger when they get behind the wheel and drive.

National Institute on Drug Abuse
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