Growing Cause of Auto Accidents: Prescription Drug Abuse

Because automobiles are used on such a regular basis, crashes have become one of the most common causes of injuries and deaths in the United States. Typically, an auto accident is caused by some sort of human error. Many times, the error is a simple, honest one – such as failing to yield or losing control due to roadway conditions. But more and more crashes are being caused by premeditated decisions that people choose to partake in regardless of the danger.

Driving under the influence is typically associated with alcohol or illegal drugs. But with prescription drug use on the rise, this type of intoxicated driving is becoming more and more of an issue on Georgia roadways. In 2010 study of deadly auto accidents, results showed that of those U.S. drivers who tested positive for drug use, 47% involved prescription drugs. That percentage is higher than the amount using marijuana or cocaine.

Regardless of whether a person has a legitimate prescription for drug use or obtained them illegally, operating a vehicle under the influence of many prescription medications is illegal in Georgia. This is because the drugs are intended to alter the body’s chemical makeup to solve a medical issue – oftentimes leading to side effects that make operating a vehicle dangerous. For instance, many drugs cause severe drowsiness, dizziness, and decreased reaction times. Prescription drugs can cause a serious auto accident the same way that alcohol can – because it affects the blood stream.

If you’ve been prescribed medication and were instructed by the doctor or labelling not to operate a vehicle for any reason, it is important not to drive. Even over-the-counter drugs can cause side effects that make driving dangerous, so before consuming any time of medication make sure it doesn’t come with a warning. And if it does, heed the warning – because you can be held liable for damages and injuries to those in an accident you caused. Even an honest mistake can ruin your life and the lives of others.