Triple A has found that some drivers are behind the wheel while potentially impaired by medications.
According to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly half of the motorists surveyed said they used one or more potentially impairing medications in the past 30 days. That number increases of those choosing to drive after taking multiple medications.
AAA says drivers who take one or more of these medications may be unaware of the possible impacts on their driving ability. Many potentially driver impairing (PDI) medications have possible effects that can be dangerous when mixed with driving including dizziness, sleepiness, fainting, blurred vision, slowed movement, and attention problems.
AAA recommends that the advice given by medical and pharmacy professionals about the dangers of mixing over-the-counter and prescribed medications with driving must be vastly improved and more consistently emphasized to maximize safety.
This study focused on the prevalent use of things like antihistamines, cough medicines, antidepressants, prescription pain medicines, muscle relaxants, sleep aids, and amphetamines. Again, these can potentially impair driving, but effects on individual drivers may vary.
“Our research finds an alarming number of motorists are getting behind the wheel after they’ve taken one or more medications that could significantly impair their ability to drive safely,” said Theresa Podguski, director of legislative affairs, AAA East Central. “Medical professionals can help by giving their patients all the facts about the possible risks of these medications and ensuring they understand.”