While you might consider yourself one of Oklahoma’s most conscientious drivers, there is only so much you can do when others choose not to follow the rules of the road. While there has been great documentation of the dangers of drinking alcohol and then getting behind the wheel, and there has been for years, drugged driving tends to receive less attention. However, it, too, is a problem that places you and everyone else on the roadway at risk.
Just how serious is Oklahoma’s drugged driving problem?
By the numbers
According to Oklahoma’s News 4, the number of fatal car crashes across the state where drug use was a factor rose more than 120 percent over the past two years. In fact, drug use was a factor in nearly one-fifth of all of Oklahoma’s 687 road fatalities last year, with 134 people dying from collision-related injuries in 2016 alone. As sobering as these statistics are, there is additional worrisome news. Drugged driving has now surpassed drunk driving in terms of the number of fatalities it causes on Oklahoma’s roadways.
Doing your part
What can you do to enhance the safety of Oklahoma’s roads? In addition to abstaining from drinking or using drugs before driving, you can make efforts to help others do the same. If you have teen children at home, discuss the dangers not only of drinking and driving but also of using drugs and driving, even if this was not a discussion your parents ever had with you. If you have friends who choose to use drugs or consume alcohol before driving, do not hesitate to take their keys, transport them home yourself, or call friends or family members who can come give them a ride.
Finally, if you encounter another driver on the road whom you suspect is driving impaired, notify authorities. A quick call to 911 has the potential to save multiple lives.