Drugged driving and its dangers

While it is common knowledge that driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous and against the law, drivers in Honolulu should also be aware that prescription drugs can cause the same issues as alcohol. Known as drugged driving, using certain prescription medications and then getting behind the wheel has been shown to result in a variety of effects, including drowsiness, recklessness and dizziness.

As Fortune Magazine highlights, Tiger Woods brought this issue to the forefront with his arrest this summer. Having fallen asleep at the wheel, and unable to pass sobriety roadside tests, he was suspected of driving under the effects of alcohol. When his blood and urine tests were run, it was discovered that there was no alcohol in his system, and painkillers were deemed the culprit for his behavior.

Tiger’s arrest brought to light the growing problem of medication and their side effects. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, almost 50 percent of fatal crashes involving drugs are due to prescription meds. Because it is unknown exactly how people react to certain drugs, and even a small amount can have a huge effect, some states have developed laws for zero-tolerance in regard to drug use and driving.

While the misuse of prescription drugs is an issue for all ages, the elder and teen populations tend to see higher rates of crashes under their influence. A drug’s slower breakdown and mental decline are major reasons why older adults experience an increase of intoxication. In younger adults, inexperience both behind the wheel and with taking medications are factors in accident frequency.