Benzodiazepines and Car Crashes
I’m Ed Smith, a Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento. One of the biggest problems we are facing right now is the abundance of drugs on the street. Some of the most common and deadliest drugs include opioids and benzodiazepines. These drugs can play a major role in car accidents. It is important to understand the impact they have on someone’s driving ability.
Benzodiazepines: Side Effects
Benzodiazepines have increased in prevalence over the past few years. Lately, people are being diagnosed with anxiety disorders. Benzodiazepines are used to treat these disorders, both in the long-term and in the acute setting. While these have a useful purpose, they also have a number of side effects. These side effects can have a negative impact on someone’s quality of life. Some examples of side effects include:
- Drowsiness: These medications can make people drowsy or dizzy. People could feel like they are about to pass out, called pre-syncope.
- Confusion: Benzodiazepines can cause people to feel disoriented. People may struggle to remember where they are located or what they were doing. Severe cases can cause people to forget their name or loved ones.
- Respiratory Depression: Perhaps the most dangerous side effect is that benzodiazepines can depress someone’s respiratory drive. A severe overdose can cause someone to stop breathing altogether, a potentially fatal side effect.
While these side effects can be troubling on a day to day basis, they are even more dangerous when someone gets behind the wheel.
Impacts on Driving: Car Accidents
If someone takes a benzodiazepine, it is important to understand the risk that this creates. Based on the side effects above, it is easy to see how the risk of an auto accident would increase. If someone is confused, they might not be able to react to the changing conditions of the road. If a person is drowsy, they could fall asleep behind the wheel. Someone who stops breathing would quickly lose control of their vehicle. Clearly, these medications are a risk to not only the individual taking them but to others on the road as well. Failure to react to changing road conditions could lead to serious injuries.
Potential Injuries from Drug-Induced Car Crashes
Every accident has the risk of leading to traumatic injuries, however, if someone is confused or falls asleep, they might not hit the brakes at all. Drugs play a major role in car accidents everywhere. According to a 2009 study from the National Institute of Drug Abuse:
- One in every three drivers tested positive for some kind of recreational or illicit drug.
- More than 30 million people drive drunk.
- Young adults ages 18-25 are more likely to abuse drug and alcohol and get behind the wheel.
These accidents could lead to serious injuries such as cardiac contusions, broken ribs, or even a traumatic brain injury. These are potentially life-threatening injuries that could be avoided with responsible medication use.
Issues Related to Car Accidents: Ask for Help
If someone sustains serious injuries as a result of an accident involving benzodiazepines, there are questions that might arise. Some questions include:
- Finances: How is your family going to make ends meet if you are in the hospital?
- Cause: Could this accident have been avoided?
- Insurance: If a health insurance company refuses to pay your medical bills, what are you going to do?
These are all questions that a lawyer can help with. In difficult times, an experienced car accident attorney in Sacramento can guide you and your family through the injury claim process.
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- Important Vehicle Safety Features
Experienced Car Accident Attorneys
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