Drivers in Florida must regularly deal with numerous challenges while on the road. From poor weather and streets crowded with vacationers to inexperienced and distracted motorists, city streets and highways alike are often hazardous. Unfortunately, drivers often make choices that impair their abilities and put others on the roads at risk.
While the term “impairment” has historically meant drivers under the influence of alcohol, the word has gained new meaning in recent years. Numerous substances and afflictions can impair a driver’s ability to safely navigate his or her vehicle during even a routine trip. Certain factors are increasingly common, including:
- Drugs: Whether it is medical marijuana or a stronger substance, nearly every type of drug will result in dramatic changes in a driver’s perceptions. Blurred or dulled perceptions will almost inevitably lead to slowed reaction times which can cause drivers to drift into oncoming lanes, miss safety signals or travel through a marked intersection.
- Medication: People struggling through numerous conditions often require prescription or over the counter medication to alleviate their symptoms. Unfortunately, many medications often result in strong side effects that can turn a simple trip into a dangerous ride.
- Drowsiness: Whether due to a condition such as sleep apnea or a result of long work hours, drivers who get behind the wheel while drowsy can cause devastating accidents. Driver fatigue can lead to reckless choices, lack of control and missing warning signs or safety signals along the road.
Drivers must pay careful attention to the task at hand to keep our roads safe. Whether they are distracted by a phone call or are sluggish due to medication, impaired drivers run the risk of causing severe collisions no matter the circumstances. These accidents can result in serious injuries such as head trauma or paralysis for all vehicle occupants.