Prescription Drug Abuse Increases Car Accident Rate


In 2016, the abuse of prescription drugs lead to a significant total of deaths, that when combined with general drug overdose, outpaced the rate of car accident fatalities. While the number of car accident fatalities are on a general downward trend, the number of prescription drug overdoses continues to rise at an alarming rate. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies the abuse as an epidemic, with the United States the #1 consumer of prescription drugs.

Nearly all of the world's consumption of hydrocodone (Vicodin) takes place in the US (99%), while the US consumes 80% of the world's oxycodone (Percocet and Oxycontin). Disturbing statistics reveal that approximately 125 Americans die each day from prescription drug overdose. "Prescription drug abuse" refers to the unauthorized use of these drugs. Whether a teen pops a few of her mother's painkillers to seek a drug high, or the patient for whom the medication is intended develops an addiction and commits fraud, the abuse of these medications is contributing to a public health crisis. As the number of Americans addicted to painkillers continues to rise, so do the number of car accidents caused by those under the influence of these powerful substances.

Car Accident Trends

With a greater awareness for personal safety and the consequences that can occur for driving irresponsibly, in addition to a dramatic improvement in the quality of vehicles, the rate of car accident deaths has steadily declined. However, as more people abuse prescription medications, whether pain killers, antidepressants or even antibiotics, we are seeing more instances of DUI that involve prescription drugs.

More and more people are receiving prescriptions, and over 70% of Americans are on at least one medication. These drugs carry powerful side effects that can incapacitate a driver. Several drugs cause drowsiness, distorted perception, dizziness, and slow down reaction time. A good chunk of side effects contribute to driver impairment. Despite these facts, too many people disregard the warnings issued on the bottle. Whether the warning states "May cause drowsiness" or "Do not operate heavy machinery" too many people think they will be fine driving to work or running errands after taking medications.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to a car accident involving prescription drug abuse in New Jersey, attorney James Vasquez can help you receive the settlement you deserve. The Law Offices of James Vasquez, PC is an inclusive personal injury firm in Clifton, NJ that takes car accident and medication cases.