Worries about drugged drivers are increasingly become a concern for many Americans. Insurance News reports that around half of all Americans responding to a new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety expressed concerns about drugged drivers. Survey respondents throughout that “drug-impaired drivers are a bigger problem today compared to three years ago.”
It is likely that many people worry about this issue in part because they don’t understand how the laws work to prevent drugged drivers from endangering others. Drugged driving is not legal, but it can be much more difficult to regulate than drunk driving is. If a drugged driver gets behind the wheel of the car and causes a crash, an Atlanta car accident lawyer can help victims or surviving family members to pursue legal action. States have also passed laws imposing criminal penalties for drugged driving.
Drugged Drivers Raise Atlanta Car Accident Worries
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicated that there are significant discrepancies across state laws that make it harder to address the issue of drugged driving as a safety issue.
In 16 states, the law forbids the presence of any prohibited drugs in the system. In five other states, there are limits set for the amount of marijuana that can be in a person’s system before that individual has broken the law.
Discrepancies from one state to the next have left many people confused about what they are actually allowed to do. Unlike the clear .08 blood alcohol concentration limit that exists nationwide, there are different rules for drug use depending upon where a person happens to be at the time he gets behind the wheel. Because of the widespread discrepancies and the lack of standard guidelines, more than 50 percent of Americans do not know what the laws are for drugged driving in their own state.
In addition to not knowing the law, many drivers also do not understand the actual impacts that drug-use can have. Around two-thirds of respondents to the AAA survey said that drunk drivers pose a “very serious” threat to personal safety. Only slightly more than half of the people answering the same question about drug use said that it too was a very serious threat.
As many as one out of every six Americans reported feeling that it would be safe and acceptable for someone to drive an hour after last using marijuana. Scientific data, on the other hand, does not back this up. A person’s driving performance can be affected for as long as three hours after using cannabis products. The driver who has consumed marijuana may experience a number of side-effects impacting driving abilities including sleepiness, deceased handling of the car’s performance, and driver fatigue.
If drivers don’t know what the law is and don’t know how dangerous driving high can be, they are likely to underestimate the risk and even get behind the wheel. Motorists need to be aware of the dangers of drugged driving and clear laws should be passed prohibiting dangerous drugged driving behaviors.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury in a motor vehicle crash. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.