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What side effects of medicine can increase crash risks?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Personal Injury

When learning how to drive, one of the first lessons includes focusing on the road and paying attention to potential hazards. Unfortunately, some people might not notice road obstructions and other risk factors when drowsy, tired or impaired, especially if they are dealing with side effects caused by medications.

Medicine, both prescribed and over the counter, can severely impact a person’s capacity to stay alert behind the wheel. These substances can significantly affect cognitive functions, increasing crash risks. The FDA warns drivers about various side effects that may happen, including the following:

  • Vision issues
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Extended periods of sleepiness
  • Confusion and inability to concentrate

The likeliness of these side effects happening can vary from person to person. To some, it can be mild, requiring little to no intervention. To others, it can be severe, making it significantly dangerous to operate a vehicle.

There are ways to mitigate the effects of these medicines, such as consulting a doctor or pharmacist. However, patients might overlook this step, especially with over-the-counter medication. Some drivers might end up risking their lives if they fail to consider the risks associated with taking medicine meant to treat their health issues.

Taking precautions for road safety

You could work around medicating and driving by scheduling when to take them. Still, side effects can be unpredictable, appearing earlier or later than expected in prolonged periods. Sometimes, it can be more effective to avoid driving altogether and seek other modes of transportation for the time being. Taking these steps might seem overboard, but it is often better to be safe than sorry. Prioritizing safety through these preventative measures may save you or someone else’s life.