There is no doubt that alcohol consumption impairs the brain and affects driving skills. Alcohol or other drugs are involved in approximately 40% of fatal traffic crashes in the U.S. every year, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Alcohol affects a driver’s ability to operate machinery, perceive surroundings, and react to emergencies. Here’s how it impairs brain function in several different ways, which often leads to catastrophic accidents.
As more states are legalizing the use of marijuana, the question has come up: “Is driving while high as dangerous as driving while drunk?” It is a valid question and one that certainly deserves an answer in light of the frequent drug usage throughout the country.
Recent studies have addressed this very issue by attempting to calculate the risk level of driving under the influence of drugs. The results indicate that drunk driving is still much more dangerous than driving while high. Even still, driving under the influence of drugs is by no means risk-free.
On the evening of July 21, 2012, a 22-year-old woman, Kayla Breann Lilley, was killed in an ATV accident in Cameron, West Virginia. The accident happened while she was riding on the back of an all-terrain vehicle that was being driven by 23-year old Casey Hill, near the community of Adaline. 911 dispatchers received a call around 6:30 p.m., and were told that a serious accident involving a male and female rider had taken place. Upon arrival, Chief Deputy Kevin Cecil found that the “ATV had rolled over several times, going about 30 feet over an embankment,” and had subsequently pinned the female victim underneath the heavy vehicle.