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Drug-impaired driving to be the focus of NHTSA summit

In California and across the U.S., the opioid crisis has been affecting the general workforce. In the past five years, urine testing has shown an annual increase in amphetamine, marijuana and heroin use. With the legalization of marijuana in numerous states, drugged driving has increased. For these reasons, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking for ways to improve safety and reduce traffic deaths.

The NHTSA will be holding a summit on March 15 to initiate dialogue with other organizations. The goals are to explore the best ways to raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs, or DUIDs, as well as consistent ways to track DUIDs, test and measure drug impairment levels in drivers and enforce DUID laws.

Several key stakeholders are invited to join the U.S. Department of Transportation, of which the NHTSA is a part, to come up with viable solutions. They include safety partners, law enforcement officials, experts to collect crash data, policy experts, state and local government officials and toxicologists.

Since drugged driving is a form of reckless driving, victims may be eligible for compensatory damages to cover losses like medical expenses, vehicle repair costs and lost wages. After filing an insurance claim, the victim might want to consult an auto accident attorney about filing a claim with the other driver's insurance company.

The lawyer may hire investigators to bring together the police reports and other proof of the driver's negligence. The claim should be separate from the criminal charges, but the lawyer may advise the victim to sue for punitive damages. The lawyer may be able to seek a settlement out of court first, litigating only as a last resort.

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