While most people know that driving after drinking alcohol or consuming illegal drugs can impair driving abilities, they may not realize that a driver’s use of prescription medications could also reduce their ability to drive safely. If you were hurt in a car crash in Norfolk or Virginia Beach that was not your fault, this may have been the cause of, or a contributory factor in, your crash.
How Medications Can Affect Driving Abilities
While many medications do not affect driving abilities, others can make it unsafe to drive. Dangerous reactions associated with prescription medications include:
- Blurred vision
- Slowed reaction time and movements
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased excitability
Medications That Can Make it Unsafe to Drive
It is important to keep in mind that not all people experience the same side effects of a medication. However, these prescription drugs can make driving unsafe:
- Allergy medications. Allergy drugs, such as antihistamines, can help stop the inflammation that causes allergy symptoms. However, they can also cause drivers to become drowsy or fall asleep at the wheel.
- Antidepressants. Many people take antidepressants to treat depression and other mental health conditions. Some can cause drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness, irritability, and anxiety, which can make it unsafe to drive.
- Pain medications. Prescription drugs to reduce pain, such as oxycodone, codeine, and morphine, can cause sleepiness, nausea, and confusion, which can make it dangerous for a person to get behind the wheel.
- Sleeping pills. Many people who have trouble falling or staying asleep take sleeping pills. However, these medications can cause them to feel drowsy the next day or lead to confusion and other mental health problems that can make driving dangerous.
How to Determine If Prescriptive Drug Use Caused Your Car Accident
It is unlikely that the negligent driver would admit to the police that they were experiencing a symptom of a medication when your collision occurred. You will need the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer to determine if this was the cause of your crash. To find out how our skilled legal team can help, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free initial consultation today.