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How to avoid medication impairment and car accidents

One issue that has a significant impact on motorist safety in Evansville area is driver impairment. You may think that the only substances that can cause impairment are alcohol and illegal narcotics. But some prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines can cause drivers to respond in the same way, acting intoxicated and making poor judgment calls when they are on the roads. 

You may or may not be under doctor’s orders to take medication to maintain your health. But you may periodically rely on store-bought medications to lessen the severity of any allergy and cold symptoms, or other physical discomforts you may have. If so, there is still the possibility that you are driving while impaired and do not realize it. To protect yourself and others from the devastating effects of driving while impaired and car accidents, consider the following suggestions. 

Set aside time to learn your body’s response 

Do not assume that every prescription you receive from your doctor and medicine you purchase from the store does not have any effect on your cognitive and physical functions. You may experience a slight decline and not even be aware of it. When you take them, pay attention to how you feel and think for the next few hours. Write down any symptoms or weird feelings you have, and consider how these could reduce your ability to react in an emergency situation or lower your ability to pay attention. 

Read the labels 

Many people do not read the labels on medications before they take them. Even when the list is long, be sure to review all the potential side effects. There is no way to know if you will experience them, but if you do not feel comfortable with the chance you may, do not take it. If it is a prescription, inform your doctor so he or she can prescribe you an alternative. 

Do not drive immediately after taking medications that may affect your driving skills. Wait several hours until you feel the effects have passed. Keep in mind there are many motorists who are not aware their driving behaviors may be affected by the drugs in their systems. You can reduce the chances of being involved in collisions by steering clear of drivers who show signs of intoxication/impairment.

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