With flu season approaching and our recent look at drugged driving policies, this week’s Automotive Fleet safety tip is all about how medication side effects can affect their ability to drive safely. Here are a few medications that can greatly affect driving ability:
- Taking sedating antidepressants even 10 hours before driving is equal to driving drunk.
- Antihistamines, which block allergic reactions, slow down reaction time and impair coordination.
- Common prescription drugs (including medications to treat allergies, pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, ulcers, depression, anxiety disorders, and insomnia) can cause drowsiness, affect vision and other skills that can be serious hazards on the road.
- Over-the-counter drugs such as cold and cough medicines, antihistamines, drugs to prevent nausea or motion sickness, pain relievers, decongestants and diuretics can cause drowsiness or dizziness that can impair a driver's skills and reflexes.
- Drivers should ask their physician and pharmacist all they can about their medication's side effects, and what drugs are usually safe to combine -- especially behind the wheel.