Is a Driver Drunk, High, or Something Else?

Driver with a beer bottle in his hand

When out on the road, it's understood that you can't control other drivers' behaviors. That includes not knowing if an erratic driver could be drunk, high, or something else. Drivers who are drunk or high exhibit similar behaviors, but there are also key differences.

The Dangers of Drunk Driving

It is well-known that alcohol impairs a driver's ability to operate a vehicle safely. Alcohol affects a person's judgment, reaction time, and motor skills, making it difficult for them to react quickly and appropriately to changing road conditions. This often results in erratic driving, swerving, and an increased likelihood of causing an accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 13,384 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2021, accounting for 31% of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S.

The Risks of Driving While High

While drunk driving has been a prominent public safety issue for decades, driving while high is becoming increasingly prevalent with the growing legalization of marijuana across the U.S. Like alcohol, marijuana impairs a driver's ability to operate a vehicle safely. It can slow reaction times, impair judgment, and affect coordination. In fact, a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that the odds of being in a fatal car crash are higher for drivers who tested positive for marijuana than those who tested negative.

Identifying Drunk or High Drivers

While both drunk and high drivers can exhibit similar dangerous behaviors on the road, some key differences can help you identify which substance may be impairing a driver.

Drunk drivers often exhibit the following behaviors:

  • Swerving or weaving in and out of lanes;
  • Driving at excessively high or low speeds;
  • Tailgating other vehicles;
  • Failing to use turn signals; and,
  • Running red lights or stop signs.

High drivers may display these behaviors:

  • Driving at significantly slower speeds than the posted limit;
  • Delayed response to traffic signals;
  • Difficulty maintaining a consistent speed;
  • Trouble staying in their lane; and,
  • Overly cautious driving, such as hesitating at intersections or yielding when it is unnecessary.

While these behaviors can help you identify whether a driver may be drunk or high, it is important to remember that any form of impaired driving is dangerous and should be reported to law enforcement immediately.

Your Options if Injured by a Drunk or High Driver

When injured by a drunk or high driver, pursuing a personal injury claim is crucial to ensure that justice is served and you receive the compensation you deserve. Being involved in an accident caused by an impaired driver can result in significant physical, emotional, and financial burdens. Medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering can overwhelm victims and their families. By seeking a personal injury claim, you hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and send a clear message that such reckless behavior will not be tolerated.

Moreover, securing fair compensation can help alleviate the financial strain and provide the necessary resources for your recovery. With the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can focus on healing while they aggressively fight for your rights and interests.

Contact Our Experienced Houston Personal Injury Legal Team

If you have been injured by a drunk or high driver, it is imperative that you promptly seek legal representation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Omar Khawaja will guide you through the legal process and advocate for your rightful compensation.

When you contact The Law Offices of Omar Khawaja, we will evaluate your case, answer any questions, and provide the aggressive legal representation you need to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve. Don't wait - contact us online or by phone now. (713) 561-5454

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