How legal drugs can impair driving ability

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

People who drive under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs can cause devastating car crashes. However, impaired driving may also result from perfectly legal drugs you buy from your local pharmacy.

Legal drugs and medicines are often needed to treat medical conditions. They may even save your life. Still, as the NHTSA explains, they can also degrade your ability to safely operate your automobile.

Side effects of medicines

Both prescription and over-the-counter drugs have varying impacts on your body. Common examples include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Diminished coordination
  • Shaky motions

These symptoms could impair your driving at crucial moments. Nausea and dizziness could distract you. Inability to coordinate movement can stop you from turning your wheel or braking in time. Drowsiness may make it hard to concentrate.

The combining effect of medicines

Sometimes one medicine does not have any side effects. It is when you take a second drug that you may experience some problems.

Some legal drugs generate side effects when they encounter other substances in your body. In addition to other medicines, interactive effects can also happen with certain foods and drinks as well as alcohol and drugs such as marijuana.

Informing yourself about medicine risks

It is a good idea to be aware of side effects of different medicines. For example, antihistamines frequently produce drowsiness after ingestion. Medicine labels should have warnings about side effects from use. Talking with your doctor about your prescription medicine should go over possible risks after taking it.

If you do your part to abstain from driving when necessary, you may avoid a serious car crash. In the event another driver is not as responsible as you and collides with your vehicle, it should be easier to show that the other motorist was at fault.