Over the past decade, drunk driving-related fatalities have gone down by almost 25 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unfortunately, while drunk driving accidents have been on the decline, drugged driving accidents have been climbing at an alarming rate. In fact, car accidents caused by drivers who are overdosing have become so commonplace that many rescue crews administer the antidote, Naloxone, anytime there is an unresponsive driver at the scene of a crash. If the opioid epidemic continues at this rate, the fatalities will continue to rise.
People who have become addicted to powerful prescription painkillers often end up resorting to heroin when they can no longer get a prescription from their healthcare provider. Heroin is also much cheaper than prescription pain medications. Unfortunately, it is highly addictive, and there is no guarantee that the drug will not be laced with some other potent, and potentially lethal, chemical. Getting behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of these powerful drugs is a recipe for disaster.
Law enforcement officials have also found that people who have become addicted to heroin, and other opioids, are either desperate to get their next high, or are feeling so sick from withdrawal symptoms, that they will shoot up as soon as they can. Too often, this means that they take the drug in their car and get back on the road before the drug overdose takes effect. If they lose consciousness while driving, and other cars, cyclists, or pedestrians are in the vicinity, the results can be catastrophic.
Sobering Example of Drugged Driving
A young mother who had just picked up her 2-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter from her mother’s house shot up in her car after getting a call from her dealer. After taking the drug, she got back on the road, with her children in the car. Within minutes, she had trouble breathing and she began to pass out. Fortunately, she was able to stop the vehicle in a residential area, with her foot on the brake before passing out. Residents were able to pull her and her children from the car and call an emergency rescue crew, who immediately administered Naloxone. According to rescuers, if she had not been given the Naloxone as quickly as she was, she would have died.
Drugged Driving Statistics
According to the Department of Transportation, there were 4,615 drug-related car accidents in 2016, an increase of over 21 percent since 2013
In Pennsylvania, drugged driving accidents rose from 3,019 in 2011 to 4,078 in 2016, an increase of 35 percent
In Pennsylvania’s Lehigh and Northampton counties, there was a 49 percent increase in drugged driving accidents between 2011 and 2016.
Nationwide, drugged driving-related fatalities increased dramatically from 2,003 in 1993 to 7,438 in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Drugged Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured or suffered a fatality in a car accident involving another driver who was under the influence of drugs, you are urged to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. The opioid epidemic continues to cause serious problems in this country, including a significant rise in drugged driving car accidents. We take this issue very seriously and we will fight hard to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.