Opioid Use and Distracted DrivingJuly 28, 2017
Each year, a staggering number of people are fatality injured in the United States by preventable accidents. The two main culprits of these tragedies include opioid use and distracted driving. According to a report by the National Safety Council (NSC), the fatality count rose to approximately 146,600 in 2015, a seven percent increase from the previous year. These fatalities are avoidable if lawmakers are willing to take immediate and aggressive steps towards addressing the problem.
NSC President Deborah Hersman had commented that not enough attention is being paid on these important hazards. Instead, the public focuses on events such as plane crashes or terrorist attacks, which are rare, compared to fatalities caused by opioid addiction and distracted driving. As a culture, we have become numb to the issue, said Hersman, but these fatalities are as tragic than any other loss of life.
Lawmakers need to have tighter regulations over the distribution of prescription opioids, as well as providing better access to drugs that can reverse an overdose. Too often, patients are prescribed these powerful, highly addictive painkillers. In fact, almost 25 percent of people on Medicaid were given prescription opioids in 2015. Oftentimes, when the prescription runs out, people turn to cheaper street drugs, like heroin.
Stricter Laws Can Save Lives
In addition to prescription opioid use, distracted driving continues to claim the lives of too many Americans every year. Hersman stated that part of the problem is the fact that people do not take the problem seriously enough. Because these fatal car accidents are accidental, there is a sense of complacency among lawmakers that the problem is beyond their control. However, if they were to approach distracted driving the same way they promoted seat belt usage and drunk driving campaigns, the death toll would likely go down.
The NSC graded states based on their efforts to stop preventable deaths. Not one state received an A grade and only seven states earned a B rating, including Maryland. The majority of states received average to failing grades for insufficient efforts to stop distracted driving.
Interestingly, when it comes to transportation, many people express much more concern about flying on a plane than they do about driving a car. Yet, statistics show that the likelihood of being fatally injured in a car wreck is far greater than that involving a plane crash.
Baltimore Car Wreck Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Injured Victims
If you or a family member have been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, or any other type of negligent driving behavior, the Baltimore car wreck lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. We will protect your rights every step of the way and fight to ensure that you receive the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent injured victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.