In November 2012, voters in Washington State made it legal to smoke marijuana recreationally, without any prescription or medical excuse—making it legal for adults 21 years and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. Marijuana users are about 25 percent more likely to be involved in a crash compared to those not under the influence, according to NHTSA’s “Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk” study, released in 2015.
The number of fatal car accidents involving drugged drivers is on the rise in Washington State. According to a report issued by the AA Foundation for Traffic Safety, after recreational marijuana was legalized in Washington State, the percentage of stoned drivers involved in fatal car accidents more than doubled.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident our legal staff is here to help you better understand your legal rights so you can start your journey to justice. Call Davis Law Group at 206-727-4000 to schedule a free consultation.
Impaired Driving Victim's Rights Attorney Chris Davis In The News
As a prominent personal injury lawyer with experience in handling all sorts of impaired driving cases including drugged and drunk driving accident claims, attorney Chris Davis's expert opinion is often featured by local media covering impaired driving-related issues and incidents.
Prescription & OTC Medications That Impact Driving
Some prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) and physcian-prescribed medications can cause reactions that may make it unsafe to drive.
Some medications that can impact driving include: prescription drugs for anxiety, antidepressants, opioids or medications containing codeine, some cold remedies and allergy products, tranquilizers, sleeping pills. pain relievers, and medications that include stimulants such as caffeine, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine.
A large percentage of those taking opioid medications on a daily basis may not be safe to drive a motor vehicle.
Drugged Driving Accident Statistics
According to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, drugs (all types: illegal and prescription) were present in 43 percent of fatal crashes in 2015.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2009 data demonstrates that a third of fatally injured drivers with a drug history tested positive for drugs (other than alcohol) at the time of their crash. In 2007, more than 16 percent of randomly stopped nighttime drivers were tested positive for drugs.
According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health roughly 3.8 percent of adolescents and adults that could drive did so under the influence of illegal drugs at least once during the previous year. While the number of drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes has declined over the past five years, the number of drivers positive for drugs has increased 18% (NHTSA, 2010).
Marijuana use can cause dizziness and slowed reaction time, and drivers are more likely to drift and swerve when they're high. There are a lot of soft-sounding slang terms such as ‘riding that green highway,’ 'nap-steering,' ‘baked driving,’ ‘flying while driving,’ and others but impaired driving is still very serious and causes hundreds of accidents every year.
- "Does Marijuana Use Affect Driving?" National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d. Web. <https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/does-marijuana-use-affect-driving>.
- "Drug Impaired Driving." Governors Highway Safety Association. Governors Highway Safety Association, n.d. Web. <http://www.ghsa.org/state-laws/issues/drug%20impaired%20driving>.
- "Drugged Driving." National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Institute on Drug Abuse, June 2016. Web. <https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/drugged-driving>.
- "Drug-Impaired Driving: Additional Support Needed for Public Awareness Initiatives." U.S. Government Accountability Office (U.S. GAO). U.S. Government Accountability Office (U.S. GAO), 24 Feb. 2015. Web. <http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-293>.
- Noble, Andrea. "Marijuana-related Fatal Car Accidents Surge in Washington State after Legalization." The Washington Times. The Washington Times, 10 May 2016. Web. <http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/10/marijuana-related-fatal-car-accidents-surge-washin/>.
- Ursino, Brian. "Drug Impaired Driving – What’s Going On?" American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, 3 Mar. 2017. Web. <http://www.aamva.org/uploadedFiles/MainSite/Content/EventsEducation/Event_Materials/2017/2017_Workshop_and_Law_Institute/Drug%20Impaired%20Driving%20Session%20Combined.pdf>.
- Wilcox, Stephen. "Driving While Impaired -- Alcohol and Drugs." National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, n.d. Web. <https://www.ncadd.org/about-addiction/driving-while-impaired-alcohol-and-drugs>.
Below are just a few of the many drugged driving accident cases that have been successfully resolved by Davis Law Group.
- $795,000 Motorcycle Hit By SUV (Case No. 200925, Insurance Company: GEICO)
- $500,000 Crash Caused By Driver Impaired By Drugs (Case No. 201034, Insurance Company: GEICO)
- $300,000 Passenger Injured When Vehicle Hits Tree (Case No. 200725, Insurance Company: American Family)
- $300,000 Out Of Control Drugged Driver Causes Accident (Case No. 200806, Insurance Company: Safeco)
- $187,390 Confidential Case Details (Case No. 200625, Insurance Company: Farmers)
- $100,000 T-Boned By Drug-Impaired Driver (Case No. 201352, Insurance Company: Progressive)
- $100,000 Distracted / Drugged Driver Causes Car Crash (Case No. 200576, Insurance Company: American Family)
- $70,000 Drunk / Drugged Driver Rear-Ends Car At Stop Light (Case No. 200698, Insurance Company: State Farm)
- $50,000 Passenger Injured When Drugged Driver Car Hits Tree (Case No. 200969, Insurance Company: State Farm)
- $50,000 Drugged Driving Crash On Denny Way (Case No. 200504, Insurance Company: Farmers)