Schemery Zicolello

Bradford County sees increase in car accidents caused by drugs

Almost everyone in Bradford County encounters cars on a daily basis. They are a part of life in Pennsylvania and around the country. While most of the time cars are a useful and helpful part of people's daily lives, without the right care, cars can be dangerous machines. Car crashes can easily happen when car drivers are not paying attention, are driving negligently or are driving under the influence.

Many probably understand the risk of a drunk driving accident, but there is a new growing problem in Bradford County -- driving while high on illegal drugs.

According to police, drugs have caused 27 deaths in Bradford County since January. Of those 27 deaths, a third of them have been from motor vehicle accidents. Furthermore, a drug recognition specialist has had to be called in six times in 2010 to help determine if a suspect was driving under the influence of drugs. This investigator was called in 33 times in 2011. All in all, DUI-related arrests have been rising all over Pennsylvania.

Police say this rise is attributed to two factors. First, more people are using bath salts and other synthetic drugs to get high before getting behind the wheel. This creates an extreme danger to others on the roads and increases the likelihood of car crashes. Second, police have received greater training in recognizing the signs of DUI and are catching more people.

Officials say the best way for people to keep themselves safe is to wear their seat belts. However, even seat belts cannot prevent all injuries. Those injured in car accidents caused by someone who was driving under the influence of drugs have legal options. These types of accidents can cause very serious injuries and compensation could be available.

Source: The Daily Review, "Driving under the influence of drugs a growing problem," James Loewenstein, Aug. 29, 2012

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