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Can prescription medications lead to vehicle collisions?

| Jan 28, 2021 | Car Accidents

Motor vehicle collisions come in all shapes and sizes. From commercial trucks at highway speeds to distracted drivers failing to stop at an intersection, there are countless factors that can lead to a crash. One of the largest single factors, though, is driver impairment.

While many people immediately think of drunk driving when hearing the phrase “impaired driving,” the term has become something of a catch-all. The phrase can certainly mean drunk driving, but it can also mean drugged driving. The latter being a reference to both controlled substances and legal medications. In fact, impaired driving can mean driving under the influence of prescription medications and strong over the counter (OTC) drugs. The problem is that these legal substances are so powerful, they can dramatically impact a driver’s attention and perception. Notable side effects can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea
  • And other physical or emotional challenges

Whether the side effect is tied to changes in perception such as vision, hearing or balance, or the slowing of reaction times, drivers can quickly become a danger to others on the road. It is crucial that drivers fully understand the side effects they face before getting behind the wheel.

While any sufficiently powerful medication can result in dramatic side effects, drivers are cautioned against using pain medication, muscle relaxants, sedatives or stimulants. Additionally, over the counter medications to alleviate cold and flu symptoms, sleep aids, allergy relief or appetite suppressants can lead to challenges.

Distracted driving accidents can lead to devastating injuries such as brain damage, paralysis or amputation. Serious collisions can prove fatal for vehicle occupants. If you were injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision caused by an impaired driver, it is important that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about your options for monetary recovery.