When someone causes a car crash, you will scrutinize their behavior afterward for an explanation. Maybe they have their phone in their hands, which makes it clear that distraction is why they caused the wreck. Perhaps their slurred speech and the heavy smell of alcohol will let you know that they got behind the wheel while chemically impaired.
Sometimes, people can cause crashes because of drugged driving, which can easily be as dangerous as drug driving. Although many people realize that it is illegal to drive after taking prohibited drugs, fewer people understand that they can break the law if they drive after taking prescription medication.
If you suspect impairment but the other driver claims that they had nothing to drink, then drugged driving may be to blame for your crash.
Many kinds of prescriptions affect driving ability
Most people recognize that muscle relaxants and pain medication are dangerous to take before driving. They may not realize that other prescription drugs can make them dangerous drivers too. Sleep medication, psychiatric drugs and even cold medication can affect someone’s driving skills, awareness and focus.
Even when a driver has the legal right to take a prescription, that does not mean they can get behind the wheel while the drug is still affecting their function. If you communicate your suspicions to the police, they could question the other driver or perform chemical tests beyond just a breath test to locate intoxicants other than alcohol.
How do you hold someone accountable for drugged driving?
Those affected by a car crash can file insurance claims. Sometimes, they need to take legal action against the other driver because insurance coverage won’t pay enough. Taking another driver to court means giving them an opportunity to defend themselves against the allegations of drugged driving.
Individuals taking medication that bear warnings about driving vehicles or operating heavy machinery should heed those warnings regardless of how long they continue taking the drug. Even if the situation doesn’t meet the necessary standards to secure an impaired driving conviction, the evidence of drugged driving may be enough to meet the standards in civil court.
Filing insurance claims and considering lawsuits may both be necessary steps to take after a car crash caused by someone under the influence of prescription drugs.