When we hear the term “drugged- driver” many automatically think of impairment caused by illegal drugs. But illegal drugs aren’t the only substances that can impair drivers. In fact, many people use prescription or over-the-counter medications that can impair their driving.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications come with warnings about possible side effects, such as drowsiness or risks related to driving, yet many people ignore them, because they’ve never had a problem. In addition, side effects for an individual drug can change when combined with other medications, especially new prescriptions.
AAA offers a free, confidential online tool that can help identify drugs that should not be taken by anyone who plans to drive. Developed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Roadwise Rx is a free online tool designed to allow you to record your prescription and over-the-counter medications in one central location, and to receive personalized feedback about how drug side effects and interactions between medications may impact your ability to drive safely. AAA encourages motorists to use this free on-line tool to help prevent the growing problem of impaired driving.
To strengthen efforts to reduced drugged driving related traffic crashes and fatalities, AAA is offering these important safety tips:
• Discuss the risks of drugged driving with family and friends in advance.
• If you find yourself substance-impaired and unable to drive, call a cab or someone to pick you up.
• Do not hesitate to take the keys from friends or family members who may be impaired.
• Never ride as a passenger in a car driven by someone who is impaired by a substance.
• If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over to a safe location to make the call yourself).
• Visit PreventDUI.AAA.com for impaired driving facts, transportation alternatives and expert advice. AAA encourages visitors to Take the Pledge to drive drug and alcohol-free.
Every month in Life, Cindy Antrican, Dayton-based public affairs manager for AAA Allied Group, Inc., provides traffic safety tips and information for motorists. Email: CAntrican@aaa-alliedgroup.com.