Driving While Impaired Doesn’t Just Refer to Alcohol Intoxication

The risks of driving under the influence of alcohol are well known. Law enforcement agencies and public health organizations spend a lot of money on education and enforcement campaigns. In addition, there’s a good chance you’ve even driven through a DUI checkpoint or two in your life.

But alcohol isn’t the only thing that causes impairment—or increases the risk of being involved in a crash. Certain types of drugs can also make you significantly more dangerous to others behind the wheel. Those drugs aren’t necessarily illegal, either, as many prescription and even over-the-counter medications have the potential to cause impairments to focus, memory, motor skills, and more.

Examples of dangerous drugs include:

  • Medications that cause drowsiness—These medications often have warnings on their boxes or labels. They include everything from allergy medications and sleep aids to anti-anxiety drugs and anti-depressants.
  • Marijuana—In addition to being illegal in TN, marijuana can also impair drivers’ ability to accurately judge distances and speed. They also may experience impaired reaction times, making it more difficult for them to avoid sudden movements from other drivers.
  • Amphetamines—This type of drug is available both in prescription and street form, and it can cause drivers to be more aggressive and erratic behind the wheel. Safe driving is all about being cool, calm, and collected—all of which are difficult to be on amphetamines.

It’s important to ask your doctor about whether it’s safe to drive when you’re prescribed a new medication. In addition, check the labels of any medications you take, even over-the-counter ones, as drowsiness is a common side effect.

At Ponce Law, it’s our goal to help anyone hurt in a crash caused by a negligent driver, whether they were impaired or simply didn’t follow traffic laws. If you or someone you love was injured, contact our Nashville auto accident lawyers today for a free consultation.


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