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How can taking medicine cause unsafe driving?

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2022 | Car Accidents

Keeping alert while driving is an important way to avoid an auto collision. You are probably aware of the dangers of drunk driving and know to abstain from alcoholic drinks before getting behind the wheel. However, some medicines can also impair your ability to operate your vehicle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns of different kinds of medicines which can have a negative impact on your driving.

Prescription drugs

You may have a condition that requires you to take prescription drugs. If so, be careful because some prescription medication may cause you to become drowsy. Antihistamines are a common example. Also, if you suffer back pain, you might take opioids. These drugs can slow your reaction time and make you feel confused and fatigued.

Over-the-counter medicine

Some medicines that you buy from the pharmacy could produce side effects that make it risky to drive. Typical examples include medication you take to treat a cold or allergy since they can contain antihistamines. Some people also need medicine to help them go to sleep. However, taking sleep medication could be dangerous if you ingest it too close to your driving time.

Problems from mixing medicines

Even if your medicine should not hamper your driving, there could still be problems if you take two medications around the same time and they create health issues like dizziness or blurred vision that impair your ability to drive. Additionally, some prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicine create side effects if they interact with alcohol or certain foods in your body.

If your doctor prescribes medicine, ask about side effects and how long you should wait before driving after taking the medication. In the event you buy over-the-counter medication, read the box carefully for instructions and warnings. You might not stop another driver from hitting you, but you might avoid causing any collisions yourself and incurring responsibility for an accident.


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