Different Drugs that Impair Driving

Different Drugs that Impair Driving

Alcohol is not the only drug that can significantly impair driving. Almost every other type of drug-like marijuana or even prescription medications can make driving dangerous. Different drugs impact the ability to drive in different ways. Knowing how certain drugs impair driving can help people understand why avoiding these drugs can prevent car accidents. If you were in a car accident caused by someone else, try contacting an Oklahoma auto accident lawyer to discuss options for compensation. 

Types of Dangerous Drugs While Driving

Legal drugs like alcohol and certain prescription medications can make driving unsafe, but so can illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, psychedelics, methamphetamine, and ecstasy. Anytime a driver continues to drive despite being under the heavy influence of legal or illicit drugs, the police consider this drugged driving. This means you could potentially be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) even if you were simply taking your prescription medicine. 

Different Drugs that Impair DrivingSome over-the-counter medications, particularly allergy pills, have also been known to impair driving skills. This is why checking medication labels or following the pharmacist’s advice is important for avoiding a car accident. Check for side effects of drowsiness or dizziness on medication labels. Many labels will directly tell you it is not safe to drive while on the medication. 

Many prescription-strength pain-killers, allergy relievers, and other medications also induce drowsiness and dizziness. This increases a driver’s chances of falling asleep at the wheel or making a fatal error. Stimulant drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine can increase aggressive or reckless driving decisions. Depressants like alcohol, opioids, or heroin can impair certain motor and mental skills needed for accurate driving. 

Effects of Drugged Driving

Around 12.6 million people drove while on illegal drugs in the year 2018 alone. The two most common drugs found in people who experience car accidents are alcohol and marijuana. However, studies are unclear on the direct effects of marijuana on driving. Prescription drugs are the next most common causes of car accidents. 

In terms of the effects of different drugs on driving skills, this varies depending on the drug. Marijuana can decrease time perception, reaction time, and coordination. Alcohol not only decreases coordination, but affects a person’s ability to accurately track objects with their eyes. Staying in the right lane and maintaining concentration on the road are also impacted by alcohol.

Opioids, whether prescribed or illegal, have been shown to increase drowsiness and decrease cognitive abilities. This means proper judgment is impaired, which is needed for making safe driving decisions like when turning out of parking lots on busy highways. 

Personal Injury Lawyer in Oklahoma 

Trying to recover financially and emotionally after a sudden car accident can be draining. Consider hiring an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer if you have suffered serious injuries from a car accident caused by another driver. Depending on the situation, you may be able to receive significant compensation for car repairs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills. You can call the Law Firm of Griffin Reynolds today at (405) 721-9500 for a free consultation.