Every Atlanta car accident attorney knows that several things could cause an accident. From distracted driving to tailgating or adverse weather conditions, drivers can crash when they least expect it. Another common reason drivers crash is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Alcohol is seen as the number one cause of DUI accidents. This is understandable as 28 people die daily in the United States from drunk driving accidents. It means that one person dies every 52 minutes, and in 2019, 10,142 died in alcohol-related accidents. However, drug-related accidents are also quite common and leave fatalities in their wake.
According to the United States National Institute on Drug Abuse, 12.6 million drove under the influence of illicit drugs in 2018. While it is challenging to measure how many crashes are caused by drugged driving, estimates show that almost 44 percent of drivers in fatal car crashes tested positive for drugs. Drugs like marijuana and opioids can have a significant effect on a driver.
This article discusses the different types of drugs drivers must avoid to prevent car accidents. If you get in a crash with a suspected impaired driver, contact our attorneys at Ted A. Greve and Associates. We offer excellent legal advice and representation.
What Are the Common Side Effects of Drugs?
The Food and Drugs Administration advises drivers to ask themselves this question: is the medication I’m taking safe? The answer to this question may be yes. However, the FDA also advises that you double-check before getting behind the wheel of a car and other means of transportation like planes, boats, and trains.
Generally, medications do not affect your ability to drive. However, some prescription and non-prescription drugs (also known as over-the-counter medications) have side effects that make driving unsafe. Some of these side effects are:
- Blurred vision
- Slowed movement
- Inability to focus or pay attention
Furthermore, some medications can affect your driving a short while after taking them. Other effects can last for several hours, even until the next day. These drugs affect your cognitive ability, thereby slowing your reaction time. This is why some drugs come with warnings not to operate heavy machinery, including a car after ingesting them.
Common Drugs That Are Likely to Make a Driver Crash in Atlanta
Atlanta drivers need to know how their medications or a combination of drugs will affect their ability to operate a motor vehicle. Below, we list out drugs the FDA believes are likely to make a driver crash.
- Antipsychotic pills
- Opioid pain relievers
- Some anti-depressants
- Anti-seizure drugs like antiepileptics
- Prescription drugs for anxiety, e.g., benzodiazepines
- Antipsychotic drugs
- Products containing codeine
- Muscle relaxants
- Sleeping pills
- Some cold medicines and allergy products like antihistamines
- Medicines that treat or prevent motion sickness symptoms
- Medicines that treat or control diarrhea symptoms
- Diet pills, “stay awake drugs,” and other medication stimulants (e.g., caffeine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine)
In addition to the above, it is dangerous to take cannabidiol products (CBD) and drive. CBD has side effects like drowsiness, sedation, and lethargy. Therefore, drivers need to use caution when driving after consuming cannabidiol products. Note that it is illegal to consume CBD with any THC amount in Georgia.
How Long Does Impairment From Sleep Medication Last?
Everyone knows that driving after taking sleep medication is a bad idea. But not many people know how long the impact of sleep medication lasts. People struggling with insomnia who take sleeping drugs believe the effects would have worn out by the time they wake the next morning. However, some sleep medication’s effect lasts longer and can make you unalert in the morning.
A common ingredient in most sleeping medication is zolpidem, and it belongs to a medication class known as sedative-hypnotics. According to the FDA, drugs containing zolpidem have extended-release forms, and they can impair a driver’s ability to drive. Therefore, if you are on sleep medication, ensure you check the content. If it contains zolpidem, opt for alternative means of transportation until you’re no longer taking the drug.
Were You in a Drug-Related Accident? Let Experienced Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyers Help You
When in a car accident, it is crucial to determine if the other driver was under the influence of illicit substances. The impaired driver would be the one at fault for the collision. Under Georgia law, you can receive compensation for bodily injuries and other losses.
This is where car accident lawyers in Atlanta come in. Our attorneys at Ted A. Greve and Associates have years of experience helping victims get compensation. We will add you to our success story if you trust us with your case. So contact us today for a free case review.