Prescription Medications and Car Accidents
Prescription medications are being used by more and more people these days throughout the country. The published results of one survey from the National Center for Health Statistics indicate that almost half of Americans self-report using at least one prescription drug in the last 30 days.
But if pills have been prescribed by a doctor that makes them safe in every context, including driving, right?
The Dangers of Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs
As harmless as prescription drugs may seem, the unfortunate reality is that certain medications being legal doesn’t alter the fact that they can also cause dangerous side effects that can lead to car accidents when a motorist uses them before climbing behind the wheel. While driving after using prescription medication may not seem to be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol, popping prescription pills before climbing behind the wheel can in actuality be just as dangerous as drinking and driving. In fact, it may be even more dangerous because there is much less of a negative societal connotation associated with driving under the influence of prescription pills which means people may be more likely to engage in it. Disturbingly, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has asserted that just being under the influence of prescription drugs such as opioids while driving can double your risk of having a crash.
Understanding How Drugs Can Affect Driving Ability
Other than opioids, common prescription drugs that have the capacity to impair driving and cause accidents include:
- Medical marijuana
- Sleeping pills
Even using the prescribed dosage of any of prescription medicines can cause symptoms counterproductive to driving such as:
- Blurred vision
- Weakness and dizziness
- Inability to react quickly
- Trouble concentrating
Staying Safe on the Road While Taking Prescription Medications
While some accidents are inevitably difficult or impossible to avoid, there are things anyone who is prescribed medications can do to proactively take the safety of themselves and others on the road into their own hands. Keep these tips in mind:
- Pay attention to any verbal or written warnings or instructions from your pharmacist or doctor when you get a new medication
- Read all instructions and warnings on the medicine’s label and adhere to them as closely as possible
- Be completely honest with your doctor about any other medicines you take and your recreational drug and alcohol use to help avoid negative interactions
- Never adjust your dosage without being instructed to do so by a treating medical professional
- Don’t drive under the influence of a new medication until you have taken it enough to understand the extent of the effect it has on you physically and mentally
Was Your Car Accident Caused by a Driver Impaired by Prescription Medication?
If you have been injured in a collision that was caused by another motorist’s negligent actions while that person was driving under the influence of prescription drugs, you may be entitled to compensation. One of the best ways to ensure that you get the financial compensation you need and deserve for your injuries is to reach out to a legal team you can depend on as quickly as possible. As the Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys of The Pendas Law Firm, we can help you understand and maximize any of your rights that can be pursued. Contact us today to begin with a free consultation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Jacksonville, Tampa, Bradenton, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Miami, Orlando, Ocala and Daytona Beach areas.