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Nearly half of drivers take impairing medications, AAA says

Toll Highways Texas
Posted at 10:20 AM, Jul 22, 2022

There are a lot of people who could be driving while impaired, according to a report by AAA.

Close to half of drivers used one or more potentially impairing medications in the last month, AAA said, including over-the-counter antihistamines and cough medicines. Impairment can mean dizziness, fainting and even seizures.

“The point and the goal should be to talk to your physician or your pharmacist about, you know, what are your options?” Jake Nelson, director of Traffic Safety Advocacy & Research for AAA, said. “How can you achieve both? How can you navigate needing to drive, but also needing medications to stay healthy?”

AAA encourages people to have these conversations to reduce risk on the road.

“The question that we hear most often is 'do you have any questions about this medication,' and that's it?” Nelson said. “That would be your prompt to say, ‘Hey, does this medication cause any problems with my ability to drive?' And that would trigger a consultation where you step aside and learn more about the potential side effects of the medication as it relates to driving.”

You can talk with your doctor about possibly changing the medication to one with fewer side effects. Your doctor might be able to adjust the dose as well.

Another option is changing the time of day you take it. Just don't make any changes without talking to your doctor first.