The use of illegal drugs is a dangerous decision. When a driver decides to get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of illegal drugs, the driver puts the lives of others at risk. Drugs have a varying impact on drivers depending on their tolerance levels, weight, and history of drug use. Therefore, drivers may not truly know how a drug will affect them before they begin driving.
In the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an incredible 10 million individuals admitted that they had used illegal drugs and driven in the previous year. Therefore, thousands of innocent victims are injured or even killed in Illinois every year due to drugged driving.
How Do Drugs Impact Drivers?
The impact a certain drug will have on a driver will vary from individual to individual. However, certain effects are fairly common.
- Marijuana: impaired body movements, altered senses, hindered thinking and problem-solving
- Cocaine: causes extreme energy, which may lead to erratic behavior; hypersensitivity to touch, sounds, and lights; paranoia
- Heroin: Impedes mental functions and motor control, increases drowsiness
- MDMA: Blurred vision, muscle cramping, chills, sweating, attention problems
- Methamphetamine: visual and auditory hallucinations, delusions, reduced motor skills
Mixing these drugs with each other or with alcohol may lead to more pronounced effects.
Signs of Impaired Driving
Drivers who are under the influence of illegal drugs may exhibit at least one of the following behaviors:
- Erratic turning
- Nearly hitting or hitting other vehicles and objects
- Driving too slow or too fast
- Driving with one’s face very close to the windshield
- Sudden braking
- Failing to respond to traffic signals in a timely manner
These behaviors may easily cause an accident.
What to Do if You are Involved in an Accident with an Impaired Driver
If you were injured due to an impaired driver, there are several steps you should take after an accident.
First, if you are able, take photographs of the scene of the accident. Photograph the surrounding area, the damage to the vehicles, and your injuries.
If there are any witnesses, get their names and contact information. Make note of what they saw.
Seek medical attention. In many cases, refusing medical treatment at the scene of an accident may negatively impact the value of your claim. Make sure to follow up with your health care providers after the accident as well.
Keep copies of your medical bills and records and give them to your attorney. These will help your attorney build your case.
To Maximize Compensation, Seek a Skilled Personal Injury Attorney
To ensure that you are adequately compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and other harm you have suffered due to an accident, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. At Stein & Shulman, our attorneys have handled hundreds of personal injury cases, including those caused by driving under the influence of prescription drugs. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim, call (312) 422-0500.