Written by Greg on February 22, 2015
More often than not, drivers understand that drugs and driving is not only problematic, but also bears additional legal ramifications. However, while most individuals understand that illicit drugs are both illegal and causes a great deal of accidents, very few realize that one must also consider the medicines they take.
Even prescription medication can prove to be problematic and create a platform for accidents can occur. These accidents can cause injuries or even death. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), even though many medications may not be harmful when driving, one must be certain before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
As the FDA points out, “while most medications don’t affect driving ability, some prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can cause reactions that may make it unsafe to drive.” These reactions can be extremely varied, but they can all prove to be extremely problematic when driving.
For example, the research indicates that these drugs may cause the following reactions:
- Blurred vision
- Sleepiness / drowsiness
- Slowed movement
- Inability to focus or pay attention
One must also consider the type of products that could potentially affect one’s ability to drive. It is important to keep in mind that, even if a medication is not listed, care should still be taken in order to ensure that one can still adequately drive while under the influence of prescribed medication.
Some of the products that generally affect driving include:
- Some types of antidepressants
- Prescription medications for anxiety
- Products that contain codeine
- Some cold medications and allergy products
- Sleeping pills
- Pain medication
- Diet pills, caffeine-type pills, and any other medication that may contain any type of stimulate. (Ex. Ephedrine or pseudoephedrine).
In addition to the potential for medication to affect driving, one must also consider the fact that some states set specific laws and regulations regarding driving while under the influence of specific medication (both prescription and OTC). In some cases, being under the influence of these medications bear the same weight as being under the influence of alcohol.
If one must drive it is essential to first speak to the doctor about what kind of limitations may occur. Additionally, it is equally important to adjust the dose, keep tracking of the timing of dosages, ask one’s doctor about potentially changing treatment options, or ask about an alternative medication that would contribute to less drowsiness.
Above all else, if one does take these types of medications, and they have already spoken with a doctor about possible risk, then an additional alternative would be to find another way to get to places, rather than driving themselves. Some viable alternatives are:
- Taxi cabs
- Rides with family or friends
- Shuttle buses or vans
- Public buses
No matter what medication is taken, remember that your safety and safety of other drivers is key. It is imperative to ensure that medications taken will not cause significant symptoms that may impair driving.
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”650px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]If you have been injured in a drugged driving car accident, call us for a no obligation consultation about your rights and options. (281) 587-1111.[/dropshadowbox]