The message finally appears to be working regarding drunk driving – the number of drunk driving accidents has decreased over the past few decades, although as a nation, we still have a long way to go. Unfortunately, as the number of drunk driving accident deaths and personal injuries has slowly decreased, the number of drugged driving accidents has increased. A new study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that more than half of the people injured or killed in crashes had one or more drugs or alcohol in their systems.
The study examined the results of blood tests that were taken at several level-one trauma centers:
- Miami, FL
- Jacksonville, FL
- Charlotte, NC
- Baltimore, MD
- Worcester, MA
- Iowa City, IA
- Sacramento, CA
Blood test results were also taken from four medical examiners’ offices in these locations. There were blood test results from more than 7,200 car accident victims.
Approximately 56 percent of these victims had one or more drugs in their system at the time of the crash.
The most common intoxicants found in victims’ blood tests were:
- Cannabinoids with marijuana – Approximately 25 percent of all accident victims
- Alcohol – Approximately 23 percent of all accident victims
- Stimulants – Approximately 10 percent of all accident victims
- Opioids – Approximately 9 percent of all accident victims
- More than one drug in their system – Approximately 20 percent of all accident victims
In 2016, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) announced the results of a study it conducted to determine how prevalent drugged driving had become. In the GHSA’s study, 44 percent of drivers that were killed had drugs in their systems, including marijuana, opioids, and other illegal drugs. This was a 16 percent increase over the percentages found in 2006.
This most recent study by the NHTSA shows an alarming upward trend each year in increased drugged driving accidents.
Let a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney Help
It is a crime under Virginia law to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition to criminal charges, an impaired driver who causes an accident may also be responsible for punitive damages for any victims who were injured in the crash or to the families of anyone killed in the crash.
Punitive damages are punishment for the driver for their reckless behavior. Injured victims or anyone who has lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a drugged driver should contact a skilled Virginia car accident attorney to find out their legal options.
At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we have been advocating for injured clients since 1985 and will do all we can to ensure you receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your case. If you would like to meet with one of our skilled Virginia car accident attorneys to find out how we can help, call us today to schedule a free case evaluation and find out how we can help.
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