Drunk driving gets most of the press when talking about impaired driving accidents, but it is important to remember that it is more than just alcohol use that leads to impairment. Certain medications can do it as well. So can smoking marijuana or using it in edible form. Do people get high and drive even when they have not had anything to drink?
Unfortunately, they certainly do. Sometimes, it’s just an honest mistake. They take a medicine that makes them feel high or at least cognitively less aware, not knowing exactly how it is going to impact them. Other times, though, it is deliberate. They use marijuana and then get behind the wheel, knowing it is illegal and choosing to do it anyway.
One of the reasons that this happens is that people don’t think it’s a big problem. For instance, in one study, a full 79% of people in the U.S. said that drunk driving was a serious issue. When asked about driving after smoking marijuana, the same was true for a mere 29%. In fact, 70% of those asked said that it was, at worst, somewhat serious. Many said it was not much of a problem at all.
No matter how people think about it, though, it is clear that marijuana use can inhibit someone’s ability to drive safely. At best, it is a distraction. At worst, they may have very little idea what they’re doing or how to control the car.
These impaired drivers can cause serious accidents, just like drunk drivers. Those who suffer catastrophic injuries when hit by impaired drivers must know about all of the legal options they have to recover fair compensation for their injuries and losses.