Impaired driving is one of the most significant dangers on our roadways. While impaired driving is generally associated with alcohol, prescription drug abuse, or illegal drug use, many legally-obtained and commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs can affect a user’s ability to drive safely.
Not only does it endanger drivers and their passengers, but also other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Many prescription medications and OTC drugs come with side effects that can put you and others at risk. Some of these side effects can include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, irregular heartbeat, or shakiness. Some medications might affect your judgment or hinder your coordination—all of these side effects can become fatal when combined with driving. Some medications may not cause impairment if used alone but can cause impairment if combined with alcohol or a second medication.
The campaign reminds drivers to think twice before getting behind the wheel while using OTC or prescription drugs. They also stress to be sure to read the labels on all medications and be aware of the side effects. Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHSTA’s) campaign website for more information.