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How the Use of Prescription Meds Can Cause a Car Accident

Prescription medications can have adverse side effects similar to driving under the influence. Here’s what you should know.

Did you know that the use of prescribed medication can impact your judgment and reaction time while on the road? That’s right: Prescription meds can have adverse side effects similar to driving under the influence. Here’s what you should know.

perscription drugs

Side Effects of Prescribed Drugs 

The side effects of prescribed medication, such as fatigue and excitability, may affect coordination, and alertness, making driving extremely risky. Also, dizziness and blurred vision from some of these drugs can affect your ability to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and assess risks.

Below are common medications that can impair your driving ability:

  • Antidepressants: These are drugs taken to treat long-term pain and treat clinical depression in adults. These medications can cause dizziness, anxiety, drowsiness, and blurred vision and make driving extremely dangerous.
  • Allergy medications: The use of allergy medication has a high risk of drowsiness and sleepiness, affecting your ability to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and assess risks. 
  • Painkillers: These include codeine, morphine, or oxycodone. While they are instrumental in reducing pain, they can cause confusion, sleepiness, and nausea, thus affecting safe driving.
  • Antihypertensives: These are drugs meant to lower blood pressure by slowing the heartbeat or widening the blood vessels. However, these drugs have been found to cause blurred vision and exhaustion when driving. 
  • Over-the-counter medication: These are drugs bought over the counter without a prescription. They may include sleeping pills and flu medication. Over-the-counter medication can cloud your judgment and cause sleepiness when behind the wheel.
  • Stimulants: These may include diet pills or caffeine pills. While caffeine can help keep you awake, too much of it can cause dizziness when driving.

How Can You Stay Safe When Taking Prescription Drugs?

Don’t drive if you are taking medication that could affect your judgment and reaction time while on the road. Instead, call a friend, relative, or ride-sharing service.

Never leave the doctor’s office without asking about the possible side effects of the drugs they prescribe to you. Also, make sure you discuss the drugs’ reactions when combined with alcohol or other medication. 

Pursuing Compensation After an Accident Caused By Prescription Drugs

Can you get compensation if you get injured by a driver impaired by prescription meds? Yes, you can. The at-fault driver may argue that it’s not their fault the accident happened. However, in Missouri, it’s generally illegal to drive under the influence of drugs — even if it’s prescription meds. Every time someone chooses to drive under the influence, they can be held responsible if they cause an accident. 

However, like any other accident, you have to prove the at-fault driver was impaired, which isn’t always as straightforward as you’d expect. That’s why it’s essential to ensure you have an experienced St. Louis injury attorney by your side. An attorney can help prove the at-fault driver was impaired and ensure you get a compensation amount that matches the extent of your damages. 

Speak With an Experienced St. Louis Injury Attorney 24/7

Call us 24/7 if you have been involved in a car accident with a driver who was under the influence of prescription drugs. Our experienced car accident attorneys have been helping injury victims in St. Louis for 25 years. We can evaluate your case for free and help you determine what steps to take to protect your right to compensation.

Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

Free Consultation (314) 361-4242
Updated: August 10, 2021