DUI Accidents are Caused by More Than Alcohol
Twenty-eight percent of the people who died in traffic crashes during 2016 were killed in alcohol-impaired accidents. During 2016, 10,497 people were killed in drunk driving accidents. That averages to about one alcohol-related driving fatality every 50 minutes.
When you think about a DUI accident, you assume that one of the drivers involved in the accident was drunk. However, there is more than one way to be impaired while driving. Driving under the influence of drugs can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Drugged driving is a growing problem in several parts of the United States.
How Often Do People Drive While Under the Influence of Drugs?
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), it is estimated that 11.8 million people drove under the influence of drugs during 2016. By contrast, an estimated 20.7 million people drove under the influence of alcohol that year. According to the results of the survey, young adults between 18 and 25 years of age had a higher percentage of drugged driving incidents. Also, men are more likely to drive under the influence of drugs than women.
Alcohol is more prevalent than drugs for drivers; however, marijuana is second to alcohol in impaired driving incidents. Studies disagree whether THC significantly impacts a person’s ability to operate a vehicle. However, one study did show that drivers who were under the influence of THC had almost twice the chance of being involved in a fatal car accident than drivers who did not use drugs or alcohol.
In addition to marijuana, over-the-counter medications, illegal substances, and prescription medications can impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. Because drugs have side effects, including dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, and lack of coordination, taking any medication and driving can be dangerous. The side effects from medications can decrease a driver’s ability to judge distance and time or make sound judgments. Any of these impairments can lead to a DUI accident.
Who is Responsible for Damages Caused by a DUI Accident in Pennsylvania?
A drugged driver can be held liable for damages arising from a DUI accident. However, you must show that the drugged driver caused the accident.
Simply proving the driver was under the influence of drugs is not sufficient to prove liability for a car accident claim. The evidence must show that the driver was responsible for the cause of the crash. For example, the driver was texting, speeding, failed to yield the right of way, or was following too closely. The elements of liability and negligence are the same in a DUI accident as they are in any other traffic accident.
What Should I Do After a DUI Accident?
If a drunk driver injures you, call 911 to report the crash. You need to see a doctor, even if you do not go to the emergency room. Documenting the accident and your injuries is important. Once you have seen your doctor, you need to call our office to speak with our Erie DUI accident attorney to discuss your options for filing an accident claim.
Call The Travis Law Firm at (800) 401-2066 to request a free legal consultation with an Erie DUI accident lawyer. We can help you prove that the drunk driver caused the accident and should be held liable for your damages and losses.