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The dangers of drugged driving

When you think of car accidents in the Portland area, you might believe the only dangers you should be aware of involve alcohol and distractions. However, there are many motorists who operate their vehicles while high on pain medications, illicit drugs and marijuana. 

Drugged driving is very dangerous. Many drugs impair reaction times, cognitive skills and judgment. Car accidents are already a major source of injuries and death for motorists, pedestrians and vehicle occupants. When you add drugs to the mix, the risk of serious injury and death increase, and when alcohol use is a factor, the risks skyrocket. 

A prescription is no excuse for impaired driving 

You must understand that just because you receive a prescription for medication, that does not give you the right or permission to drive while you are experiencing the side effects. You have an obligation to operate your vehicle safely every time you get in the driver's seat. If you must take medication that advises against operating heavy machinery, you should not drive. Knowing how your body reacts to the drugs and medications you use is the first step in achieving that goal. 

How to avoid drugged driving 

Do not ignore the warnings and side effect information on the medications you use. In addition to watching for those symptoms, you should write down any unusual symptoms you experience and inform your doctor. Staying alert on the roads is another way you can avoid drugged driving car accidents. Not all drugged motorists you encounter on the roads suffer from impairment by medications. Some of them are under the influence of marijuana, cocaine and other illegal substances. 

Though there has been much focus on drunk drivers, they are not the only safety hazards you should be on guard against. Drugged drivers pose a significant safety risk to the public. Watch for reckless and negligent drivers, use safe driving behaviors, and avoid driving when you are experiencing side effects from medication so you can keep yourself and others safe.

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