Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

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Drugged driving on the rise

Charlotte's law enforcement officers, emergency medical personnel and hospital staff have all seen the destruction and heartache caused by the opioid epidemic gripping America.

While the number of drunk driving accidents are on the decline, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, motor vehicle accidents caused by drugged drivers are soaring.

In 1993, there were 2,003 fatal car accidents involving drugs, the NHTSA data shows, while that figure had more than tripled by 2015, rising all the way to 7,438.

Stories about drivers using drugs -- often as soon as they get behind the wheel -- are making news around the nation.

A Pennsylvania man grabbed the steering wheel after his grandson overdosed while driving in Williamsport. Police in that city of 30,000 people said there were 11 other overdoses on that day -- including a woman who overdosed and wrecked her car before getting on to a highway.

The very next day, rescue workers found a badly injured 43-year-old Ohio man inside a vehicle wrapped around a pole. He had overdosed before the crash.

In New Hampshire, a man purchased heroin, shot up and then crashed into a parked 18-wheeler. In Iowa, a man shot up in a parking lot and then slammed into a parked car.

He was revived with the opioid-reversing naloxone.

In Michigan, a man took pain drugs and muscle relaxers early last summer and then slammed his pick-up into a group of bicyclists. Five people were killed in the crash.

The stories and tragedies seem as endless as the dangers of drugged driving.

Those injured by a drugged or drunken driver can fight back with the help of a Charlotte attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.

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