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Opioids Are an Increasing Factor in Fatal Car Accidents

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

fatal car accidents, Lake County car accident lawyer, opioids, drugged driving, Waukegan car accident attorneyEveryone is aware of the danger that drunk driving poses to people on the road, but many people may not realize that prescription painkillers can be just as dangerous.

As the use and abuse of opioids has increased in recent decades, the number of drivers killed in car accidents while under the influence of these drugs has also seen a major increase.

Study Shows the Impact of Opioids on Car Crashes

A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health looked at drug test results for drivers who died in car accidents and found that between 1991 and 2015, the number of drivers with prescription opioids in their system at the time of death rose by 700 percent. This increase is likely due to the rise in use of these types of drugs; between 1991 and 2014, prescriptions for opioid painkillers have risen from 76 million to nearly 300 million. Oxycodone, morphine, and codeine were the most commonly detected drugs in the study.

While overdoses from opioids are a major health concern, this study shows that the effects of these drugs are even more far reaching. The researchers noted that opioid use is especially dangerous when combined with other drugs or alcohol. Of the people in the study who tested positive for prescription painkillers, 67 percent had other drugs in their system, and 30 percent had elevated alcohol levels.

Advocacy for Roadway Safety

As the epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States continues, multiple organizations are working to find solutions. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has extended its advocacy to fight against drug impairment in drivers, noting that drugged driving is a major safety issue on the country’s roads. In addition, the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis has called for the president to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency.

Studies estimate that 92 million adults use opioid painkillers in the United States each year, and people often do not realize the effects that these drugs can have on the safety of routine activities like driving, especially when they are mixed with other drugs and alcohol. Driving under the influence of prescription painkillers can be a danger not just to drugged drivers, but to everyone on the road.

Contact a Waukegan Car Accident Attorney

If you have been involved in a car crash, and you believe the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. At Salvi & Maher, L.L.C., we can advocate for your rights and help you receive compensation for any injuries you have suffered. Contact a Lake County car accident lawyer at 847-662-3303 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/08/03/prescription-opioids-drivers-killed-car-crashes/534676001/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/opioid-drugs-car-crash-fatalities-deaths/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/07/31/commission-urges-president-trump-declare-emergency-over-opioid-crisis/527298001/

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