It is not hard for most people to understand that drinking and driving is not okay, or that they should not drive if they have been using illegal drugs. That said, many people do not realize that it is just as dangerous to drive after taking certain legal medications. In fact, one survey found that barely one in four drivers thought it was a “very serious threat” to drive after using prescription drugs.
It might be true that many medications do not affect driving at all, but many do – and the number of car accidents resulting from being medicated while driving is on the rise. Why is that? Read on to get the answers and learn what actions you should take if you were injured due to another driver being negligent.
Medication Use by the Numbers
For better or worse, the use of prescription medication is on the rise. If you look at the number of prescriptions dispensed per person on a yearly basis, that number has gone up by 60% since the ‘90s. Likewise, almost half of Americans say they take at least one prescription drug each month and about one in three say they take two or more. When you look at the stats for seniors, two out of three take upwards of five medications every day.
Some Medications Can Make a Person Unsafe to Drive without Them Knowing it
Many people have no idea that the medications they are taking increase their chance of being involved in a car accident. For example, certain antidepressants have been shown to increase the chance of an accident by as much as 40%. Benzodiazepines and opiates are the most common medications involved in fatal car accidents.
There are many non-prescription drugs that can be dangerous too, such as those that contain diphenhydramine. Studies have shown that when a person takes this drug (which is often in over the counter cold medicine), it can impair a person’s ability to maintain a safe speed, stay in the correct lane, and follow at a safe distance as much as if they had a BAC of 0.08. Mixing certain drugs can be dangerous too, such as acetaminophen and Crestor, which together can make it difficult to stay awake.
What to Do if You Are Injured in a Car Accident Involving Medications
If you are injured in a car accident and the at-fault party was taking medication before the accident, this could impact your case. You need a personal injury attorney who has worked on similar cases in the past. Contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now to receive a free legal consultation.