Have you ever been involved in a vehicle crash in which you think another party was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash? Although you might not have conclusive evidence right away, it’s well worth hiring an attorney and learning more about the circumstances of the accident in order to protect yourself. Too many people get behind the wheel of a car after using drugs, and the link between this and the problematic opioid issue across the U.S. can become deadly for victims. Drinking and driving and drugged driving put everyone on the road at risk, and yet these behaviors are happening more than ever.

The opioid epidemic across the country has generated many different news headlines and has been on the radar for more than a decade but a new study from Columbia University shows there is one other potential impact of these accidents worth paying attention to: the significant increase in the number of fatal car accidents related to opioid use. In a nation where almost 100 million individuals took a type of prescription opioid medicine in 2015, the fact that the study identified that more individuals killed in vehicle crashes are getting positive test results for narcotics than ever before is a devastating reminder of the impact of these medications.

More than twenty years of traffic fatalities were analyzed for several different states including Rhode Island, West Virginia and California, focusing on individuals who pass away within one hour of crash. The increase in the number of drivers who had opioids in their system at the time of a fatal accident increased by 5% for men and by 7% for women between 2010 and 2015. This critical public health problem has generated attention from researchers and legislators alike. if you’ve already been involved in a vehicle accident as a result of another person who was driving under the influence of drugs, including opioids, you may have grounds to file a claim for personal injury compensation.