Prescription Drug Abuse Tied to Increase in Fatal Car Crashes

There was a recent study from Columbia University regarding the use of alcohol and drugs while driving. The study was performed because drugged driving has been a safety issue of increasing public concern in the United States. The Connecticut Auto Accident Attorneys at Carter Mario Law Firm have paid particular attention to these findings, as they can have a large impact on some of our clients’ cases.

The study found that drug use is associated with a significantly increased risk of fatal car crash involvement particularly when used in combination with alcohol. The study showed that 32% of drivers involved in fatal car crashes tested positive for at least one non-alcohol drug. Overall, drivers testing positive for drugs were three times as likely as those testing negative to be involved in a fatal crash.

Among the drugs studied, depressants (Xanax, Valium, Sleeping aids) conferred the highest risk, followed by stimulants, narcotics, and marijuana. Elevated alcohol levels were founded in 57% of cases; the risk of fatal crashes increases exponentially as the blood alcohol level rose. The study determined the odds of fatal car crash involvement increased by 23 times for those who were positive for both alcohol and drugs.

A large percentage of these drugs are by prescription. There is always a warning not to drink alcohol while taking these medications, and yet people do. Even alcohol levels below the legal limit can have significant effects on a person who also takes certain medications.

If you have been hurt in a car accident as a result of another driver abusing medications, talk with one of the Connecticut Auto Accident Attorneys at Carter Mario Law Firm today. We’re here to answer your questions anytime, and if you’re unable to come to us, we’re happy to come to you.