Getting into a vehicle and going for a drive has become second nature to most adults throughout society. Many people become so comfortable with the act of driving that they forget about the dangers of the road and driving such a heavy piece of machinery at, sometimes, very high speeds. In the United States, anyone who wishes to obtain their driver’s license must take a course commonly known as “Drivers Ed”. There, new drivers learn the rules of the road and the safety precautions that should be executed every time one plans on stepping into a vehicle. The number one thing one shouldn’t do while driving is taken part in drinking or drug-related activities before taking the wheel. Drinking and driving put the life of the driver, and everyone else involved, in danger. Driving while under the influence of Marijuana, cocaine, prescription pills, and other drugs puts you in the same danger of dying as drinking does. Impaired driving is dancing with the devil no matter what way you do it. An article on drugrehab.org provides an insightful and informational look at the dangers of drugged driving and the steps you can take to prevent your loved ones from taking part in it.
The best thing you can do to try to prevent your family members or loved ones from driving while on drugs is to educate them on the dangers and the harsh reality of the matter. The National Institute Drug Abuse (NIDA) highlights data documented by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), explaining, “In 2013, an estimated 9.9 million people aged 12 or older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs.” It is something that is hard to fathom but children and adults across the country have admitted to driving while under the influence of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine or prescription medication. As a result, 20% of U.S. car crashes are a result of someone driving while under the influence of drugs.
Even when someone is educated of the dangers people still find themselves in dangerous situations. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have prepared a list of techniques to help prevent an individual from drinking and driving that can be used seamlessly to aid the prevention of drugged driving as well.
- Avoid Confrontation – try not to argue or fight when discussing plans for transportation
- Suggest alternative transportation – Examples such as a cab, sober driver or a public transit option
- Be mindful of the level of impairment of the person you are talking with – talk more slowly and take time to explain your suggestions fully
- Make it clear that your concerns arise from care – you do not want them to injure themselves or someone else by driving in an impaired state
- Suggest they spend the night – either with you or wherever they are presently, as long as the location is safe
- Gain support from friends who can back up your concerns – it’s more difficult to say “no” to two or more people you care about or look up to than just one
- Take away the keys – it’s often much easier to persuade drivers to make safe choices when you have the leverage of possessing their keys
- Call law enforcement – this is mostly a last resort. However, it might make the difference between a night in jail and being seriously injured or killed in an accident
Drugged driving is becoming more and more prevalent and in order to keep these dangerous drivers off the roads precautions must be taken. Just as drunk driving, a shadow of distaste must be cast upon the notion drugged driving. Society must be educated of the dangers and with the help of the steps noted previously everyone can do their part to keep our streets a safer place.
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