Huffing And Other Actions That Lead To Driver Impairment

Huffing is a term used to describe the inhalation of vapors from various household products and industrial products. When inhaled, these vapors produce a “high.” There have been many serious vehicle accidents in which drivers who have been huffing crash. Many of these crashes have caused life-threatening injuries, some of which have led to fatalities.

The inhalation of chemicals is further described in the National Institutes Of Health (NIH) document titled “What Are Inhalants.” An excerpt:

Inhalants are volatile substances that produce chemical vapors that can be inhaled to induce a psychoactive, or mind-altering, effect. Although other abused substances can be inhaled, the term “inhalants” is used to describe a variety of substances whose main common characteristic is that they are rarely, if ever, taken by any route other than inhalation. This definition encompasses a broad range of chemicals that may have different pharmacological effects and are found in hundreds of different products. As a result, precise categorization of inhalants is difficult. One classification system lists four general categories of inhalants — volatile solvents, aerosols, gases, and nitrites — based on the forms in which they are often found in household, industrial, and medical products.

For those that are seeking to “get high,” huffing can be a relatively cheap and quick method to do so. Unfortunately, when drivers have been huffing the resulting intoxication often leads to accidents.

One Lake County fatal accident that was attributed to a driver huffing was one that occurred in Highland Park, Illinois in September 2012. That accident was discussed in the “Fatal Pedestrian Accident In Highland Park, Illinois” post.

There have been other high-profile tragic accidents involving drivers who have been using inhalants previous to driving as well as during driving. A fatal incident occurred in St. Louis involving a driver who allegedly had been huffing previous to losing control of his vehicle.  The vehicle hit a woman on a nearby sidewalk.  The woman suffered fatal injuries. This fatal crash is discussed in the December 18, 2020 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article titled “Parent of victim in fatal crash file suit against driver accused of ‘huffing’…”

Driver intoxication continues to be a traffic safety problem. Whereas in the distant past, the vast majority of drivers who were intoxicated had been drinking, in recent years intoxication caused by drug use has markedly increased. While the drugs involved vary widely, among the most commonly used are marijuana, meth, cocaine and heroin.

As discussed on the “Car Accidents Involving Drivers Under The Influence Of Drugs” page, the driver impairment caused by drug use can vary significantly depending upon many factors. As well, if multiple drugs are used (i.e. mixed-drug use) and/or the person also uses alcohol the level of impairment can significantly increase.

An example of a fatal accident that involved a driver allegedly impaired by meth use was seen in the December 2020 Nevada accident. In this accident, a man driving a box truck said he fell asleep at the wheel before hitting a group of bicyclists. Five bicyclists were killed.

People that are injured due to people who have been huffing or under the influence of drugs often elect to file a personal injury lawsuit. While there are many reasons as to why someone would want to file an injury suit, getting injury compensation is a main reason. The medical treatment for the injuries, as well as other associated expenses like physical rehabilitation, can be significant if not substantial. As well, there can be other hardships caused by being injured, such as an inability to work and the associated lost income. As well, a personal injury lawsuit can seek compensation for other issues such as pain and suffering and physical impairment.

In instances where a person has been killed due to the negligent actions of others, relevant parties may seek compensation for the death through a wrongful death lawsuit. Following the St. Louis fatal accident mentioned above, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the driver as well as other parties. Various aspects of wrongful death suits are discussed on the “Wrongful Death Lawsuits” page.

The trial lawyers at the Elman Joseph Law Group handle both injury lawsuits as well as wrongful death lawsuits. Over the last 25+ years, the Elman Joseph Law Group has won many notable settlements and court trial verdicts. As well, the lawyers have received various awards for their work.

Various notable settlements and verdicts can be seen on the “Illinois Personal Injury Case Results And Litigation Capabilities” page.

Tony Elman, Lead Trial Attorney of the Elman Joseph Law Group, offers a free initial legal consultation for those that have been injured due to the fault of another person. He can be reached at 773-392-8182 at any time…or [email protected]

Elman Joseph Law Group handles all lawsuits on a contingency basis…clients never pay a fee unless and until they receive money.