McKellar & Easter, Attorneys at Law We protect what's most important
Contact Us For A Free Telephone Consultation

Drug impaired driving taking a fatal toll on Tennessee roads

Anyone who follows the news on a regular basis is well aware of the fact that millions of people across the nation, including thousands here in Tennessee, are currently battling some form of addiction to drugs -- both legal and illegal. By way of illustration, consider that statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that in 2014 alone 1,263 Tennesseans died from prescription opioid overdoses.

As tragic as this reality is, it has recently become even more so, as those abusing drugs are taking actions that directly affect the safety of those around them. Specifically, more drug users are getting behind the wheel while under the influence, causing serious and often fatal accidents.

Just how serious is the problem of drugged driving?

Data from the Tennessee Highway Patrol reveals that the number of deaths attributable to drug impaired drivers increased by an astounding 89 percent from 2010 to 2015.

Even more shocking, statistics also show that drugged driving has recently surpassed both drunk driving and distracted driving as a factor in fatal crashes here in the Volunteer State. Specifically, distracted driving was associated with 51 deaths, drunk driving was associated with 136 deaths and drugged driving was associated with 174 deaths in 2015.

Why has drugged driving become such a problem?

In addition to the staggering rates of prescription opioid abuse, experts also point to the growing popularity of street drugs like heroin, which serves as a cheaper, stronger and more readily available substitute. They also point to the abuse of other prescription drugs like benzodiazepines, and the seemingly unending allure of illegal drugs like marijuana and methamphetamine.

Compounding the problem further, they argue, is the absence of a reliable uniform standard by which law enforcement can measure impairment, much like the .08 blood alcohol content standard for drunk drivers.

What are law enforcement officials doing to address this problem?

Reports indicate that more law enforcement officials here in Tennessee are undergoing a three-week training program that teaches them how to identify drugged drivers, adding to the ranks of the roughly 115 officers who are already certified.

Here's hoping these efforts prove effective, and that we start to see real change sooner than later on our roads and highways.

Always remember that if you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one because of the negligence of another driver, you do have options for seeking justice.   

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Experienced. Committed. Respected.

Mr. McKellar was voted by his peers as a “Top Attorney” by Knoxville’s CityView Magazine in its 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 editions. In 2014, 2015, and 2016, Mr. McKellar was selected as a member of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the National Trial Lawyers.

Ms. Easter was voted by her peers as a “Top Attorney” in Cityview Magazine for Family Law / Divorce / Child Support in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Mr. Devore was voted by his peers as a "Top Attorney" by Knoxville’s CityView Magazine for Social Security Disability in 2017. "

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Your Partner in Practice | KBA Proud member | Knoxville Bar Association
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb
Start Now. Contact Us Today.

Have Questions? We Have Answers.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Locations

Knoxville Office
412 Ebenezer Road
Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: 865-566-0125
Fax: 865-566-0126
Map & Directions

Nashville Office
424 Church Street, Suite 2000
Nashville, TN 37219

Map & Directions

Atlanta Office
Riverwood Center
3350 Riverwood Parkway, Suite 1900
Atlanta, GA 30339

Map & Directions