Drugs and Driving

Drugs and DrivingWe talk a lot about drinking and driving. But, let often we hear about Drugs and Driving. It isn’t just illegal drugs that can affect a driver. In one  of our recent defensive driving classes, a student was ordered by the court to take our class because she was driving drugged. She took prescription medication that her doctor ordered. She had failed to discuss the side effects of the drugs with her physician, and she also failed to read the literature that accompanied her filled script. As a result she drove her car and crashed it. She was then arrested

Side Effects Include

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Lack of focus
  • Nausea
  • Blurred Vision

Whenever your doctor prescribes medication, it is imperative to discuss the side-effects with him or her. And, always follow the directions for use and red the warning labels. It is also a good idea to talk to the pharmacists, even when using over the counter drugs.

You should also talk to your pharmacist when mixing various medications, including over-the-counter meds. The FDA has an informative article about Medicines and driving.

Something exists called synergism, which can occur when we mix drugs. Synergism is an interaction between two or more drugs that causes the total effect of the drugs to be greater than the sum of the individual effects of each drug. A synergistic effect can be beneficial or harmful. What this basically means is that an unpredictable side-effect can occur, aside from the existing label warnings.

So, it’s a good idea to develop strategies to prevent yourself from getting behind the wheel of a car. And, needless to say, you should not drive when you are under the influence of illicit drugs. Research studies show the negative effects of marijuana on drivers, including an increase in lane weaving, poor reaction time, and altered attention to the road.

Protect yourself, your passengers, and other drivers. Drugs and Driving make for a bad combination.