Increase Your Awareness About Drugs and Driving

Everyone knows about drunk driving -- you see ads, campaigns, and PSAs everywhere about the evils of driving drunk. But what about drugs and their effect on drivers? For some reason, it's incredibly rare to near unheard-of to see anything about drugged driving. It's time to change that.

The Facts

The cold, hard facts are this: Driving while under the influence can be deadly, no matter what that influence is. Drugs are just as apt to impair or cloud your judgment as alcohol is, yet you rarely hear anything about it. Because of this, a lot of people seem to think it's okay to drive while you're high -- 'Oh, it's just a little pot, I'll be fine!' seems to be a common state of mind.

In a 2014 survey, nearly 10 million people admitted to driving while under the influence of illicit drugs. 10 million! Stats from 2009 and 2010 show that around 18% of people killed in crashes had at least one drug in their systems, while 11% of drivers involved in fatal crashes also showed illicit drug use.

Sadly, while we have tests in place to check for alcohol use while driving, it's not as easy to test for drugs during traffic stops. We simply don't have the technology available yet, so we don't have any way of knowing just how low those reported numbers are. People also tend to mix alcohol with drugs and driving, so if they're getting pulled over for being drunk, no one's testing for drugs either. There's no telling how bad the danger is.

Why it's a problem

Whether they're illegal or prescription, drugs alter your perceptions and sense of reality. For instance:

Be safe

An obvious tip would be to never drive under the influence -- this almost goes without saying. However, in some cases -- such as a new prescription drug that you might not know all of the side effects of -- it's not always so simple to practice.

Remember -- it doesn't matter what the influence is. Driving under the influence of any substance is illegal, and oftentimes carries fatal consequences. Don't let your friends and loved ones become just another statistic -- help spread the awareness today.