There are many drugs that can impair a person’s driving; but this doesn’t just include illegal drugs. Prescription medications, and even some over-the-counter drugs, can have impairing effects.
A driver can create a serious risk of a car crash when he or she gets behind the wheel with an impairing drug or medication in his or her system. However, despite these dangers and the laws against impaired driving, it appears drugged driving has become rather common here in the United States.
For example, the results of a 2013-2014 roadside survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took samples of nighttime weekend drivers and tested them for various things, including drugs. The survey found that 20 percent of motorists tested positive for a possibly impairing drug.
It is important for drivers to avoid driving while impaired, even if it’s accidental. Here are a few ways you can ensure you’re safe when behind the wheel:
- Be aware of whether or not the medications you take have impairing effects: Looking at medication labels, researching medications online and talking to your doctor and pharmacist about the effects of your medications allow you to be aware of whether or not the medication you are on would affect your ability to drive. If it could, avoid getting behind the wheel until it no longer has any negative cognitive effects.
- Be careful about when you get behind the wheel: Once you are aware of whether or not you medications could cause impairing effects, you can make informed decisions about when it is safe to get behind the wheel.