Are you drugged driving?

Should you get behind the wheel and drive if you have taken prescription drugs? Or over the counter drugs.

Can cold and flu remedies affect the way you drive?

Probably according to a recent survey by Autoglass. The survey showed that 8/10 drivers drive under the influence of drugs, with as much as 50% of them not realising because they had taken over the counter drugs or prescription drugs.

….admit to taking prescribed drugs  such as temazepam, diazepam and pain-killer Cocodamol, with sixty percent (60%) confessing they then get behind the wheel of their car without a second thought.

When it comes to over-the-counter medication, certain cold and flu remedies,  anti histamines and sleeping tablets are the most popular and worryingly a quarter (25%) take more than the recommended dose. After getting dosed-up, seventy three per cent (73%) then hit the roads. Source- Autoglass

It is essential for all drivers, as well as professional driver to make sure they are fit for work and capable of driving. Anti depressants and painkillers can alter the perception of the driver, making an accident more likely.

A driver can be still prosecuted for being under the influence of drugs, even if they are prescribed drugs.

What are the side affects of some of typical over the counter and prescription drugs?

  • Tiredness
  • Slow reactions
  • Not as alert to danger
  • Tremors, shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision

If you are thinking of driving and you have a cold, be careful of what medication you are taking. If you are driving you may be better off taking nothing at all. You may not feel so great but you will be a lot safer than being over medicated and driving dangerously.

TV’s Dr Rosemary Leonard, comments: “The effects from medication can last for hours or even days and can vary from person to person; a driver may not even notice that they have been impaired until it is too late. A person’s driving ability can also be affected by the medical condition for which they’re taking the medicine. With cold and flu season fast approaching, more people will be turning to over-the-counter remedies in the coming months.”

“Taking alcohol and drugs together is even worse as their side effects may combine and impairment can be multiplied. It’s vital that anybody taking medication always reads the label first, it’s also essential that motorists feel fit to drive before getting into the car. If they experience any side-effects or feel unwell then they must not consider driving until the symptoms have passed.”

Medicines often state whether you can operate machinery or not whilst taking it, use this as a guideline – your car or van is machinery, you are still operating it.

Drive when you feel better is best option, it is better to be safe that sorry.


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