Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Lawyer Joseph Lipsky is glad to report that the efforts to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents on Florida’s roadways, thanks in part to increased education and a ramp up in law enforcement’s efforts, has been showing positive results. Unfortunately, that is where the good news ends. Sadly, an ever increasing number of drivers are getting behind the wheels of their vehicles while under the influence of marijuana and prescription medications.
The rise in “stoned” drivers is particularly alarming as a recent government report, indicates that drivers under the influence of marijuana are more prone to be involved in car accidents, including those resulting in personal injuries. Making the results more troubling is the fact that dope is smoked more by young men, which is the category of drivers which already have the dubious distinction of causing the most car accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in their report – Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, reveals that post-car accident analysis demonstrates that the amount of intoxicated drivers has dropped by almost one-third since 2007. In fact, the NHTSA found that approximately eight percent of drivers stopped in routine traffic stops were under the influence of alcohol, a decrease of more than thirty percent from their prior report in 2007. The bad news is that drivers who were found to have drugs in their system increased by thirty percent over the same time period, with marijuana use rising by almost fifty percent.
Incredibly, the same study’s results demonstrated that motorists under the influence of marijuana were found to be at a lower risk for being involved in a car accident compared to those under the influence of alcohol. The study’s results, however, does not take into consideration the fact that tests which show marijuana use will be positive even if the person used marijuana days or weeks earlier. This is compared to blood alcohol tests which are much more sensitive to recent drinking.
Regardless, those who choose to use marijuana need to know that the evidence is clear, that using marijuana impairs driving skills. Ft. Lauderdale personal injury lawyer Joseph Lipsky reminds his fellow Floridians, that it does not matter whether you are drinking or smoking, do not drive while under the influence of either.