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Just how dangerous is driving while under the influence of drugs?

In this high-tech era in which we live, you often hear about distracted driving and just how much at risk it can put you for either causing a car crash or becoming involved in one. You're also likely heard about the dangers associated with drunk driving. What you most likely haven't heard much about, though, is just how dangerous operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs can be for both you and others.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 2015 shows that, of all driver fatalities where toxicology tests were run, 43 percent of them had drugs in their bodies when they crashed.

While marijuana has been proven to be the most common illicit drug used by motorists who've been involved in fatal crashes, the hundreds of other prescription drugs on the market may have just as deadly side effects.

Amphetamines like Adderall have been designed with the goal of providing the brain with added stimulation. To do this, they increase the body's amount of neurotransmitters. While, for those who take it, it may help them focus better, it's been known to cause stroke and seizures due to how it increases a user's heart rate.When it comes to prescription drugs like Ativan, Valium, Xanax or Klonopin, or any other benzodiazepines, they're been shown to cause users to become confused, develop vertigo or blurry vision. As you can imagine, a driver experiencing these symptoms may not be ideal for taking to the road.

Another potentially dangerous drug for someone to take before getting behind the wheel of a car is any opioid like OxyContin, a prescription pain killer. Research shows that teens abuse it only fourth to marijuana, alcohol and tobacco. Drugs like OxyContin are known to cause users breathing problems and nausea and to result in confusion.

Drugs are just as dangerous, if not more so, than both distracted and drunk driving. They can cause you to have delayed motor skills, greatly impair your judgment and impact your ability to react to avoid causing a crash.

If you've lost a loved one in a car crash at the hands of a suspected drugged driver, then a San Bernardino attorney can advise you of your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in your case.

Source: Teens in the Driver's Seat, "Impaired driving," accessed Feb. 08, 2018

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