Charlotte, NC Driver Charged After Rush Hour Accident :: Personal Injury Attorneys and Lawyers in Charlotte, NC

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A Charlotte woman was injured after a car accident that took place earlier this week during the afternoon rush hour on I-485. The accident, which took place just after 6:30 p.m., happened along the I-485 outer loop between Providence Road and Rea Road.

North Carolina Highway Patrol has said that a 26-year-old driver, Kathleen Thomas was driving along I-485 when she pressed her brakes and lost control of her vehicle. Her car then spun out, crossed the median, clipped one vehicle and was ultimately hit by an oncoming SUV.

Spilled pills Charlotte North Carolina Personal Injury Workers'compensation Wrongful death Attorney Lawyer.jpgCharlotte emergency responders say it took the Fire Department a substantial amount of time to extract the woman from her smashed vehicle. Thomas was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries including a fractured pelvis and leg injuries. The driver of the SUV, who has not yet been identified, was also injured in the accident.

Police say that since the accident they have charged Thomas with reckless driving and DWI. An investigation after the wreck turned up six different medications in Thomas’ car which led to the impaired driving charges.

Though many drivers may not realize it, the problem of impaired driving is not limited to alcohol. Driving under the influence of prescription drugs raises many of the same concerns given that powerful medication can act on the brain to impair a person’s motor skills, reaction time and judgment. Drugged driving is a public health concern because it puts not only the driver at risk, but also passengers and others who share the road.

According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey, more than 16% of weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter medications while more than 11% tested positive for illicit drugs. Another NHTSA study found that in 2009, among fatally injured drivers, 18% tested positive for at least one drug, a number that marked a 13% increase from 2005. These results indicate that not enough has been done to educate the public about the true danger of driving under the influence of medication.

Despite the information available regarding the danger of drugged driving, the nation’s laws have yet to reflect the severity of the crime. Though alcohol detection is relatively easy, the presence of illicit drugs is more difficult to measure and there is no agreed upon impairment limit. In North Carolina, a person commits the offense of impaired driving if he drives while under the influence of an impairing substance. The law is vague with regard to drugs and the legally acceptable amounts and says only that the crime has been committed when a driver is found to have “any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance… in his blood or urine.”

If you, or someone you know, have any questions regarding personal injury claims, please feel free to contact the experienced personal injury lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina at Arnold & Smith, PLLC for a free consultation. Call at 704-370-2828.


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