When behind the wheel, you have to pay special attention to safety precautions. Unfortunately, you cannot predict that every driver will obey regulations or drive with other people in mind. Some people may not recognize how negligent and reckless, impaired driving is. While most people understand the impact of alcohol on driving, they may not understand the dangers of other substances.
According to the NHTSA, impaired driving includes any substance that impairs a person, including legal and illegal substances.
Which substances can impair your driving?
There are a variety of substances that may impair a person’s driving, including alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine. When you think of impaired drivers, you may think about alcohol and illegal substances. However, a person taking prescription medication or over-the-counter medication may still have difficulty driving. Some cold medicines, for example, can cause drowsiness and dizziness. Impaired drivers may not always recognize their impairment. For example, a person may take cold medicine without thinking about its dangerous side effects and not recognize the inability to drive.
How dangerous is impaired driving?
Impaired driving opens up a person to accidents. One of the most common substances with misconceptions about impairment is marijuana. One myth is that marijuana use makes drivers safer. In reality, it hinders motor skills and can make it challenging to track lanes. Likewise, marijuana makes it difficult for drivers to multitask.
No matter the substance, if a driver uses substances that impair cognition, he or she may be guilty of an illegal act. Likewise, if the driver causes an accident, he or she may be at fault.