Prescription drugs often have side effects, making it impossible to drive safely. While most people are aware of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, many people ignore the warnings not to operate vehicles or other heavy machinery after taking certain prescription medications. Several kinds of medicines can cause drowsiness and lead to the risk of accidents on the road, regardless of warnings against the use of motor vehicles and other dangerous machinery.
People who take prescription drugs should speak with their doctor and do the necessary research to find out if they can drive safely after taking medicine. You may be surprised to find out how risky it is to take certain medications and then drive.
As for other people on the road, they should be aware that they may encounter another motor vehicle driver who is operating their vehicle under the influence, not with illicit drugs or alcohol but with legally obtained prescription medications. Suppose a car accident victim is injured by a person suspected of being affected by a prescription drug. In that case, the driver who caused the accident may be legally responsible for the costs related to the injury, regardless of whether the drugs were obtained legally.
Injured victims can consult with a Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer to investigate the accident and help them seek maximum compensation for medical expenses, vehicle repairs, or other damages.
Drugs that might affect your driving ability:
- Pain Relievers
- Prescription Cough Medicines
- Muscle Relaxants
- Anti-anxiety medicines
- Pain relievers,
- Prescription marijuana or THC
One of the biggest culprits for driving under the influence of prescription drugs are a group of drugs collectively known as pain relievers. Doctors may prescribe painkillers to patients recovering from surgery, or to reduce the side effects of painful health conditions. Some patients have been prescribed pain relievers for chronic conditions, such as cancer and respiratory illnesses.
Common pain relievers include opioid-based pills, such as oxycodone or codeine, and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. These painkillers are called anesthetics because they are related to opiate derivatives and synthetic compounds that mimic their effects. Side effects of narcotic analgesics include drowsiness, blurred vision, and impaired decision-making ability. More potent opioids or higher doses can increase these side effects. In extreme opioid poisoning, users may lose motor coordination, experience a distorted perception of reality, or even suddenly lose consciousness.
Over-the-counter and non-narcotic analgesics, including common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Tylenol or Advil, usually have no harmful side effects. A recent investigation of fatal crashes between two vehicle crashes revealed that drivers at fault in a deadly collision were twice as likely to be affected by narcotic painkillers as other drivers. These drivers often cause accidents because they are unable to maintain their lanes, fall asleep at the wheel, and have delayed reaction times.
Although the risks of driving after using opioids and synthetic pain medications are known, nearly one-fifth of drivers who test positive for intoxication are affected by opioids. You can talk to a reputable Drug Crime Lawyer if you want to know about handling these situations. He can assist you in every single step.
Both prescription and over-the-counter antihistamines can cause severe drowsiness. This mental state can cause other side effects, such as impaired concentration and memory.
- Prescription cough medicine
Many prescription cough medicines contain codeine, opioids, or dextromethorphan, which can cause drowsiness and can cause hallucinations at high doses. Some cough syrup products may also contain large amounts of alcohol, which in some cases can exceed the BAC limit.
- Muscle relaxants, sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs, and sleep aids
Almost all sedatives or sleeping pills can cause severe fatigue and drowsiness. This includes some known anti-anxiety drugs such as Valium, Xanax, or Ativan. People who use these drugs may also experience dizziness, muscle weakness, and shortened reaction times.
Antidepressants can have a wide range of effects, depending on the user and the environment they are taking the drug. In some cases, commonly used antidepressants can cause blurred vision, dizziness, or insomnia, leading to fatigue.
- The effect of combining several Prescription medicines or alcohol
Many drugs may interact unexpectedly and cause driving problems. Always describe all the medications you take with your doctor to predict and plan for such interactions.
Many drugs have compounding effects when used in combination with alcohol, especially pain relievers. Be careful when taking prescription drugs and drinking alcohol. Ask your doctor if mixed drinking is recommended and if you should be aware of adverse reactions. In most cases, if you are currently taking prescription drugs, it is best to abstain from drinking while the medicine is in your system.
What to do if a Driver Hits You?
Police officers responding to the scene of an accident almost always try to find out if any of the drivers involved were drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs. They cannot, however, ask whether the driver who caused the accident is taking any prescription drugs. They may also ignore the importance of the medicines the driver admits to taking. Suppose you were injured in an accident, and you suspect or know that other drivers have been using prescription drugs. You want that fact to be recorded to ensure your rights are protected.
Regardless of the situation, a person injured in a collision may want to talk to a Philadelphia Auto Accident Lawyer. He can ensure that all factors that contributed to the accident are investigated, increasing the likelihood that the driver responsible for the accident is liable for your injury costs.