We are aware that driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal and that the consequences of impaired driving can be devastating. Driving and taking drugs is no less of a danger to the motoring public. Prescription and over-the-counter medications, including such drugs which are common over-the-counter medicines and regularly prescribed medicines, can have a significant effect on the ability of the operator of a motor vehicle to drive safely.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the United States Department of Transportation recommends that persons taking prescription medications (especially antidepressants and opioids) should not operate a car, truck, bus or motorcycle (as well as heavy machinery) until you know how the medication affects you in terms of your judgment, coordination and reaction time. According to the NHTSA, it is important to keep in mind that while certain medications will not impair a person on their own when taken with alcohol or another medication, impairment may result.
It is also important to keep in mind, as NHTSA points out, that commonly used OTC medications can place the motoring public in danger because some cold and allergy medicines, sleep aids and other over-the-counter medications can cause side which may place the other drivers on the road at risk of becoming the victim of an accident at the hands of a driver impaired by drugs and/or medications. Typical complications of taking such medications can include making the person drowsy, nauseous, and causing blurry vision.
No matter what you call it, when a person feels the slightest bit high, buzzed, tipsy or drunk, that person is impaired and simply should not be operating any motor vehicle. Stated differently, according to NHTSA, under such circumstances, when taking an OTC or prescription medication that may impair your ability to drive, you should not get behind the wheel of any automobile and/or motor vehicle.
The attorneys at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., are concerned for the safety of the motoring public in Reading, Berks County, Pottsville, Schuylkill County, and throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania. The personal injury lawyers near Philadelphia serve auto, truck, and motorcycle accident victims and their families in claims and cases involving serious injury and death caused by the negligence of others. The firm also handles work comp, medical malpractice cases and nursing home neglect cases.
From the desk of Adam K. Levin, Esquire