The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA) recently revealed the results of a survey that examined the comparative risk of drunk and drugged driving over a 20-month period in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Researchers collected of data from more than 3,000 drivers involved in a crash in Virginia Beach and more than 6,000 crash-free drivers for comparison.
The survey found that nearly one in four drivers tested positive for at least one drug that could affect their safety while driving. The study also found that marijuana users are more likely to be involved in accidents, but that the increased risk may be due in part because marijuana users are more likely to be in groups at higher risk of crashes. In particular marijuana users are more likely to be young men - a group already at high risk.
Another study conducted by the NTHSA found that the number of drivers with marijuana in their systems has grown nearly 50 percent since 2007, rising from 8.6 percent in 2007 to 12.6 percent in 2014.
“THC, the high producing element in marijuana, affects areas of the brain that control body movements, balance, coordination, memory and judgment,” according the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
Drivers should not get behind the wheel impaired, period. It is a criminal offense in Virginia to drive a vehicle while under the influence of “any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate a motor vehicle.” Va. Code § 18.2-266. However, we know that some drivers place their need to get home in an altered state above their own safety and the safety of others on the road. Our firm goes beyond the criminal consequences of drugged driving and seeks to get our clients the compensation they deserve for any injuries they have received or losses they have suffered. If you or a loved one has been in an accident with a drugged driver, give our firm a call today at 757-460-7776.