West Virginia has highest rate of drug-related traffic deaths

The curvy mountain roads of West Virginia present motorists with many challenges, and drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs create an additional menace. When the organization Alcoholic.org analyzed 20 years of data from the National Highway Traffic Safety, the state ranked first in traffic fatalities in crashes that involved drug-intoxicated drivers.

For every 100,000 residents, 2.33 fatal drug-related motor vehicle accidents. Among these drug-intoxicated drivers, 25 percent had used marijuana. When looking only at alcohol-related crashes, the state came in 6th in the nation.

Residents who spoke to media outlets expressed little surprise at the statistics. One woman blamed drugs coming in from other states. The police chief in Bridgeport believes that identifying people who are driving while drugged presents greater challenges than testing for alcohol consumption because of the screening process is more complicated.

A person injured in a crash with a drugged driver might need evidence of the drug consumption when filing a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney might assist with the process of gathering evidence by asking for the police sobriety test. If documentation of intoxication can be located, then an attorney could include it in court filings. The law might recognize intoxicated driving as negligent driving and assign liability to the driver for the injuries of a victim. To help the victim potentially collect compensation for medical bills and lost income, an attorney could make a claim upon the driver's insurance. If the settlement offered by the insurance company is inadequate, then the attorney could proceed to take the case in front of a jury.

View the full Alcoholic.org report at http://www.alcoholic.org/identify/americas-loaded-roads/ .

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