Prescription drugs seem harmless, yet certain medications can affect your driving and even lead to car accidents. You are probably aware of how illegal drugs, marijuana, and alcohol can impair your driving ability and get you in trouble with the law, but did you know that you could also be arrested for DUI while being completely sober?
That is because certain prescription drugs affect your driving in a similar way to alcohol and illegal drugs. “Shocking, right? Driving under the influence of medication may even carry the same penalty as driving under the influence of alcohol,” says our Philadelphia car accident attorney at the Dan Doyle Law Group.
Fact: Statistics by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety show that nearly 50 percent of all Americans reported taking at least one or more prescription drugs in the past 30 days.
Fact #2: Over the past 10 years, the number of Americans taking at least one prescription drug on a regular basis has jumped by 10 percent, while the use of five or more prescriptions has skyrocketed by 70 percent.
Yes, prescription drugs have become a substantial part of our lives, but taking certain medications and driving can be a fatal mix.
“Wait, does it mean that even the drugs prescribed by my doctor may affect my driving and result in a car crash?” you may be wondering. That’s right! Needless to say, handling a car accident involving prescription drugs will be somewhat different from a regular DUI accident. That’s because there are hundreds of different prescription medications that can affect your driving.
Surprisingly, you could be pulled over and charged with DUI for simply taking medications that are available over the counter such as pain relievers, antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. Even the prescription drugs you take for allergies and cold symptoms may impair your driving the same way illegal drugs do.
Statistics shows that prescription drugs were to blame for DUI fatal car accidents in the vast majority of all cases involving drugs.
“Wait, are you trying to tell me that police officers cannot tell the difference between an intoxicated driver and a driver taking prescription drugs?” you may be wondering. Exactly! You see, certain prescription medications come with the following six side effects that often become causes of car accidents in Philadelphia and all across Pennsylvania:
However, not all prescription drugs affect your ability to operate a vehicle the same way. In fact, even the same prescription medication may affect two people differently, as the manifestation of these side effects vary greatly from one individual to another.
“Antidepressants, in particular, increase the risk of getting into a car accident by a whopping over 40 percent,” says our Philadelphia car accident attorney. The biggest problem with the use of prescription drugs and driving is that the vast majority of motorists in the United States are not aware of the dangers and risks of driving “under the influence” of prescription drugs. Just because you were not drinking does not mean that it will be safe for you to operate a vehicle if you are taking certain drugs.
Here at the Dan Doyle Law Group, our best car accident lawyers in Pennsylvania encourage you to consult with your primary physician or pharmacist about the possible impact of your prescription drugs on your driving ability, reaction time, and decision-making abilities. If you have been injured in a DUI accident involving drugs, do not hesitate to speak to our lawyers. Call at 215.987.3730 or complete this contact form to get a free consultation.