A recent multi-vehicle accident in Indianapolis sent seven people to the hospital, one of them in critical condition. The driver that apparently caused the chain-reaction crash was going over 90 mph at the time. Preliminary investigations suggest that he was driving under the influence of marijuana.
People usually associate driving under the influence (DUI) with alcohol. But it’s also important to consider the effects of other drugs. Marijuana is a mind-altering substance, and it doesn’t necessarily take much to interfere with driving ability.
Drivers operating their vehicle under the influence of marijuana may react more slowly to events on the road. They may lose track of their own driving or fail to notice what other drivers or pedestrians are doing. Their judgment and sense of caution may be compromised. A driver doesn’t need to be visibly stoned to be impaired behind the wheel.
Indiana already includes marijuana in its DUI laws; any presence of marijuana in the blood or urine can lead to DUI charges. With regards to civil proceedings, the influence of marijuana may be powerful evidence demonstrating the liability of a driver for a crash.
Driving under the influence of marijuana or other illegal substances isn’t rare either, with older teens and young adults up to the age of 25 more likely to be offenders. A 2007 Roadside Survey conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that over 11 percent of drivers on weekend nights tested positive for an illegal substance.
Another NHTSA study from 2009 showed that roughly 18% of drivers who sustained fatal injuries in crashes tested positive for the presence of at least one illegal drug, or prescription or over-the-counter drug. Sometimes, irresponsible drivers will also mix multiple drugs, with potential deadly or otherwise serious consequences on the road.
Don’t hesitate to contact experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyers in the aftermath of a crash. As a result of someone else’s poor judgment, you may be suffering from permanent injuries, steep medical bills, and other devastating losses. You need an attorney to advocate for you and fight for the fair compensation you deserve so that you can heal and cope after an accident.