Can Prescription Medications Affect Driving?

January 23, 2023
Prescription Medications Affect Driving.

Many people are aware that driving under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs can lead to serious or deadly consequences, but what about the millions of Americans who take prescription medications? Knowing whether or not the medication you are taking can affect your driving ability is essential.

Prescription drugs can cause a variety of adverse side effects which could lead to a car accident. In most cases, drowsiness is the main problem that prescription drugs could cause. However, there are other possible effects that can affect driving, such as:

  • Nausea.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Fainting or passing out.
  • Increased or decreased heart rate.
  • Loss of focus.

Some prescription medications can make it unsafe for a driver to safely operate a vehicle. Some adverse side effects are worsened when medications are mixed with the wrong drugs or with alcohol. It is important to discuss with your doctor all of the risks when you are taking a certain medication.

The most common types of prescription medications that can affect driving include:

  • Pain relievers.
  • Cold and flu medicines.
  • Opioids.
  • Stimulants.
  • Antihistamines.
  • Antidepressants.
  • Antihypertensive drugs.
  • Muscle relaxants.
  • Sleep disorder medications.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has an online tool for learning which medication affects the ability to safely drive. You can also discuss the issue with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to minimize the drug’s negative effect or recommend something else.

Pennsylvania Car Accident Laws

It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as it greatly increases your chances of an accident. If you are in any type of car accident, it may be beneficial to you to know some of the state’s laws beforehand, such as:

  • Statute of limitations: The statute of limitations is the deadline given for someone to bring a personal injury lawsuit. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident or injury. If you file the lawsuit after the deadline has passed, then your case will almost certainly be dismissed.
  • Comparative negligence: Pennsylvania has a modified comparative negligence rule. If the plaintiff is found to be a certain percentage of fault for an accident, then that percentage is subtracted from the overall compensation award. Also, if the plaintiff is found to be over 50 percent at fault for the accident, then they receive nothing.
  • No-fault coverage: An important law to know is that Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance coverage state. This means that both parties would go to their insurance companies to seek coverage for certain damages in an accident regardless of who was at fault. You can only sue the at-fault driver if the case meets certain requirements.

Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Represent Those Injured by Drivers Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

If you have been injured because a driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then you may be entitled to compensation. Contact one of our Media car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. to learn more. Call us today at 610-565-3701 or fill out our online form for an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.