In Torrance, California, last month, a Federal Way man was charged with DUI after driving the wrong way down a city street and then striking two vehicles, a fire hydrant, and a light pole before slamming into a restaurant. Luckily, no one besides the driver suffered injuries, and he was arrested after being treated at the hospital.
But although the man was charged with a DUI, he was not drinking alcohol at the time of the crash–he was allegedly using PCP, a drug that can cause hallucinations and violent behavior.
While alcohol is the most commonly abused drug when it comes to driving under the influence, it’s important to understand that many different drugs, both legal and illegal, can cause traffic accidents. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 11.8 million Americans drove under the influence of drugs in the last year. In addition, of drivers involved in deadly traffic accidents who were tested for drugs, about 47 percent had prescription medication in their systems, 37 percent had marijuana in their systems, and 10 percent had cocaine in their system.
Drugs And Other Substances That Can Affect Driving Ability
A huge number of drugs can affect your ability to safely drive–including illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter drugs. Here are just a few:
- Marijuana/cannabis. Even though cannabis use is legal in Washington State, it can still cause drivers to drive too slowly, drive erratically, or fall asleep at the wheel.
- Amphetamines. Uppers can cause drivers to speed or take unnecessary risks behind the wheel–some can even affect vision.
- Hallucinations. Drugs like mushrooms and acid can alter reality–which is absolutely not a safe way to drive.
- Cocaine. This drug can make you feel more alert, but in reality it can cause speed-related crashes as well as crashes in which the driver suddenly turns or cuts off other drivers.
- Opioids. Both illegal and prescription opioids can cause drivers to be drowsy, react too slowly, or fall asleep behind the wheel.
- Prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs. Many drivers are surprised to find that cough suppressants, antihistamines, sleeping aids, and anti-anxiety medications help treat their symptoms, but also affect their ability to drive. Always talk to your doctor about the side-effects of your medications.
It’s important to note that many of the above drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, are more dangerous when mixed with alcohol.
If You Think Your Federal Way Car Accident Was Caused By Drugged Driving
If you were involved in a Federal Way car accident that you believe was caused in part by someone else driving under the influence of drugs, it’s vital that you speak to a Washington State personal injury attorney about your case. At The Ye Law Firm, we can help you analyze the evidence in your case and pursue justice and compensation. To request a free, no-obligation consultation about your possible case, call Chong Ye and his legal team today: (253) 946-0577.