Austin Drugged Driving Accident Attorney

Austin is a great city for exploring and having a good time. We’ve got the parks, the lakes, the shops, the music, and much, much more. If you’re looking for fun, Austin is the city for you. Another thing Austin has is traffic—plenty of traffic. With traffic comes car accidents, and drivers under the influence of drugs cause some of those accidents. If you’ve been injured by a drugged driver, you need an experienced Austin drugged driving accident lawyer on your side as soon as possible.

The Sobering Statistics

According to the American Public Health Association, accidents caused by drunk drivers are on the decline but drug-related accidents are on the rise. The Association estimates that drivers with drugs in their systems are involved in about 4,000 traffic deaths each year. Further, because not all states conduct drug testing for fatal traffic accidents, this number is believed to underestimate the true danger of drugged driving. In the states where such testing is conducted, the statistics are grim:

  • 47 percent involve a driver who tests positive for prescription medications (typically opioids and/or other painkillers)
  • 37 percent involve a driver who tests positive for marijuana
  • 10 percent test positive for cocaine

If a drugged driver leaves you injured in a car accident, you need experienced legal counsel. These claims are complicated, but your rights and your rightful compensation are too important to leave to chance. The experienced legal team at The Law Offices of George Salinas in Austin understands just how difficult your situation is, and we’re committed to helping accident victim’s like you navigate toward just compensation. Our dedicated drugged driving accident lawyers have the skill, determination, and knowledge to help you.

The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that driving while impaired by drugs is becoming an increasingly critical safety issue. Of those fatally injured drivers who received blood testing, 40 percent had drugs present in their systems, which is about the same percentage as the percentage for the presence of alcohol. With the advent of more lenient state marijuana laws (both medical and recreational), drivers with marijuana in their systems are on the rise. Driving while impaired by drugs is an even more complex issue than driving drunk:

  • There are hundreds of drugs that can cause impairment in drivers.
  • The interaction between specific drugs and an individual’s ability to drive safely are little understood.
  • Data related to the presence of drugs in drivers involved in crashes is incomplete and inconsistent.
  • Drug impairment at the scene of an accident is more difficult for officers to detect than is alcohol impairment.
  • Convicting a driver of driving under the influence of drugs is more complicated than convicting a driver of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Conclusions on Drugged Driving

The Association generalizes four important conclusions in its reporting on drugged driving:

  1. In a study running from 2013 through 2014, about 12 to 15 percent of drivers surveyed on the roadside tested positive for either an illegal drug or for marijuana, a significantly higher percentage than for alcohol.
  2. About 20 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds and about 6 percent of those 26 and older use illegal drugs or marijuana monthly (at least)—while more than 50 percent of these age groups drink alcohol monthly (at least).
  3. According to roadside surveys and data related to fatally injured drivers, marijuana is by far the most prevalent drug used by drivers. This usage is likely to be elevated in those states that permit recreational marijuana usage.

Drivers who choose to operate their vehicles while under the influence of drugs endanger everyone with whom they share the road. Because it is typically more difficult to assess when drugs impair a driver, it’s critical that you obtain an experienced drugged driving accident lawyer to obtain the information necessary to protect your rights.

Drug Impairment

While drugs can obviously impair a driver’s ability to drive safely, there are also other factors to consider. Drug dosages can play a significant role in impairment—as can the combination of different drugs, as drug interactions are often highly unpredictable. When it comes to drugged driving, things can quickly get complicated. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association further shares several important conclusions related to drugged driving:

  • Any drug’s effects can vary significantly between drivers.
  • Any drug can increase a driver’s crash risk.
  • As a drug’s concentration increases, so to do its effects.
  • When a driver is under the influence of marijuana or under the influence of most other illegal drugs, his or her crash risk usually at least doubles.
  • Some specific drugs—or the combination of different drugs or the combination of drugs and alcohol—substantially increase a driver’s crash risk.

Most drivers are unaware of the increased crash risks posed by various drugs, which makes drugged driving that much more dangerous.

To summarize, there is far less data, research, concrete evidence, and information related to alcohol impairment than there is related to drug impairment. This makes it far more difficult to prove that a driver’s impairment was responsible for the accident in question. The negative effect of alcohol on driving is well documented; the negative effects of drugs on driving is acknowledged but far less well understood. Your experienced drugged driving accident attorney will do the legwork to ensure that all pertinent and necessary evidence is collected in support of your claim.

If a Drug-Impaired Driver Has Left You Injured, You Need an Experienced Austin Drugged Driving Accident Attorney

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by a drug-impaired driver, you know how difficult that is. Such claims are complicated, but the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of George Salinas in Austin is here to fight for your rights and to help guide your claim toward its most positive resolution. Our dedicated drugged driving accident lawyers have the skill, commitment, and determination to build a solid case in support of your accident claim. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at (512) 851-1004 to schedule an appointment today.