Medicine and Driving Don’t Mix
- We are an overprescribed America—the US represents under 5% of the world’s population, but consumes about 80% of the world’s prescription drugs.
- In its 2013-14 National Roadside Study of Alcohol and Drug Use, the NHTSA found that 10 percent of weekday, daytime drivers surveyed tested positive for prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs.
- These include sleep aids, anti-anxiety drugs and even allergy medicines. But, not all prescription and over-the-counter drugs affect driving.
Drivers Underestimate the Risks of Driving After Using Medications
- Over the course of the past three decades, society has come to frown on drunk driving. In fact, an overwhelming majority of drivers (94%) consider driving after drinking alcohol a serious threat to their personal safety. But, only 78% of drivers feel the same way about driving after use of prescription drugs.
Curb Your Risk of Driving Impaired
- All of us need to become better advocates for ourselves during visits to the doctor, or when filling a prescription at the pharmacy. In fact, AAA research suggests that only about half of doctors mention potential driving risks when prescribing medications to their patients.
- AAA recommends being proactive by asking your doctor or pharmacist about how the medications you take could affect your ability to drive.
- Putting the topic on the table for discussion is your best shot at getting answers to help keep you healthy and safe.