Driving while impaired from medications is a serious risk, and it’s important to avoid that chance whenever possible. Take the time to learn about common medications that can cause problems while out on the road, and avoid them before you plan on driving. This means reading medicine bottles and talking with the pharmacist before you take any new medication. The last thing you need is an allergy medication DUI!
According to the Food and Drug Administration, driving with particular allergy, cough or sleep medications in your system is even more dangerous than driving around under the influence of alcohol. With many of these drugs, you don’t even feel them taking effect, and you still feel more than capable of driving. At least with alcohol, you can feel the effects of the drug and it’s easy to decide when you are impaired and should not drive around.
Each of the prescription medications listed below is potentially dangerous to drive with in your system. Take note of them all, and be careful if you climb behind the wheel if you have taken one.
Most of these compounds are found in allergy medications, but they can also be found in sleep aids and cold medications. That’s why you should always read the package before deciding if a drug is safe to drive with or not.
Each time that you receive prescription medications from a pharmacy, make sure that you get an okay to drive while on the medication. Ask how it could affect you when in use, and if it’s going to make you drowsy you need to be very careful while driving on it, and you should avoid driving under most circumstances.
Have Someone Else Drive
If you aren’t sure about whether or not you should be driving, you can also seek out help from a friend or loved one to get them to drive for you. It may be a bit inconvenient to ask someone else for help, but it’s better than being the cause of an accident because you drove around impaired.
Even if you’re heading into work and you don’t want to be late, pull over on the side of the road and take a nap if you feel yourself falling asleep. It’s inconvenient to stop and wait until you have more energy, but taking the time to do so is better than causing an accident. As soon as you’re having trouble remaining awake while driving, it’s vital that you stop until you regain the ability to concentrate fully.
It’s easy to drive under the influence of medications without even thinking about it. Doing so is a huge mistake and something that you need to avoid, but it’s your awareness of potential problems that will save the day. Chances are no one is going to ask for your keys after seeing you take an antihistamine. Driving on allergy medicine isn’t stigmatized like driving under the influence of alcohol, so it’s up to you to stay safe out there on the road. Be responsible and avoid dangerous situations whenever you drive.