Despite many initiatives designed to curtail the number of drivers who get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol or doing drugs, Pennsylvania arrest records provide a snapshot of how common the behavior continues to be.

Just consider the number of drivers that state police arrested last year for driving under the influence of drugs. According to a recent story by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the number of drug-impaired drivers arrested in Pennsylvania last year rose by 43 percent as compared to 2014. State police arrested 4,431 drug-impaired drivers in 2015. That’s a significant jump from the 3,098 drivers arrested a year earlier.

When you add those motorists arrested for driving while impaired by alcohol, the numbers are truly frightening. According to the story, Pennsylvania state police made a total of 18,801 DUI arrests in 2015. In 2014, state police arrested 17,709 motorists for DUI.

Prescription drugs and driving

What accounts for the increase? State police continue to keep a close watch on Pennsylvania roads, of course. One police official indicated he believes more motorists are driving cars while under the influence of drugs than in years past. The police official pointed to both prescription and illegal drugs as being prime culprits.

The police official said that doctors need to provide more education when prescribing medication to their patients. Too many drivers think that because their doctors gave them medicine, it’s automatically permissible for them to drive while taking the pills. Often, though, even legally prescribed medications can impair someone’s ability to drive. It’s important for patients to ask their doctors whether they can drive while taking a certain medication. It’s equally important for doctors to do a better job at explaining to patients when they shouldn’t operate a motor vehicle, the police official said.

If you are injured in a crash caused by an impaired driver

The thought of more impaired motorists on the streets is a scary one. The rising number of impaired drivers means that you face the real possibility of being seriously injured in a car accident caused by an impaired motorist. Recovering from them could take a significant amount of time and money. If this does happen to you, it’s important to seek legal help. The best way to be certain that your rights are protected is to hire an attorney who will work to make sure that you are properly compensated.