Is the Driver Next to You Impaired? Maybe.

Impaired Driving

Potentially driver-impairing medications (PDIM) are readily available – many of them over-the-counter – and as many as 50 percent of drivers on the road at any time are on one or more. This makes staying sober and paying attention essential to avoid being involved in a car accident.

Data from a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that while nearly 50 percent of all drivers are on one type of PDIM, one in five drivers, representing 20 percent of motorists, report being on two or more at the same time. Moreover, among those taking two or more PDIMs, nearly 64 percent admit to taking medications before driving. In people taking three or more medications, that number jumps to 70.8 percent. And to make matters worse, many of these people have never been told that their medications could impair their driving.

What Are PDIMs?

Some of the most common potentially driver-impairing medications are:

  • Antihistamines
  • Cough Syrup
  • Diet Pills
  • Motion Sickness Medication
  • Products With CBD

This batch of PDIMs is available over-the-counter and rarely comes with in-person warnings. Because they are available OTC, many people assume they are safe to consume during the regular course of the day. Tragically, this is not the case. These medications can impair driving and contribute to accidents, some of which are severe.

Prescription medications such as sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, seizure medications, anti-anxiety medications, and opioid pain relievers also impair driving. However, warnings about these medications’ effects on driving are typically printed on the bottle and discussed by the pharmacist before the prescription is administered. The AAA study found that those who were told about the potential of impaired driving were nearly 20 percent less likely to drive after taking their medication.

What Can I Do if I’m Injured?

When an impaired driver injures you, you are entitled to hold them accountable for your damages, but it must first be established that they were impaired. The attorneys at Shaw Cowart LLP can investigate your accident to identify all potential causes to help ensure the most effective representation.

To schedule a complimentary case review at our Austin or San Antonio office, please call 512-499-8900 today.