AAA Study Finds Shocking Number of Intoxicated Drivers

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Man taking pills while driving

Prescription and over-the-counter medications are often taken without regard to side effects. This includes side effects such as drowsiness or intoxication that are common with things like:

  • Cough medicine
  • Antihistamines
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Antidepressants
  • Sleep aids
  • Opioid pain relievers

Known as PDI (Potentially Driver Impairing) medications, when taken, these can place everyone on the road at heightened risk for serious injury in an accident.

Nearly half of all respondents to a new study from the AAA Foundation admit to driving on an intoxicating medication. One in five admitted to driving within two hours of taking one of these medications. Shockingly, 63.3 percent admitted to driving after taking two PDI medications, and an alarming 70.8 percent admitted to driving after three or more – all within two hours of driving.

Respondents to this survey suggested they did not always receive information about the medications' intoxicating properties. Nor did they receive warnings about driving or operating heavy machinery while taking these medications. This issue was most common with cough medicine and antihistamines, which are often purchased without a prescription.

Pharmacists must provide detailed information about the possible side effects of each medication. Doctors also should provide patients with information about PDI medications to help patients plan accordingly. However, it is the patient's responsibility to read all warnings and follow the directions in the literature provided with the medication, even when the drug is purchased over-the-counter.

Have You Been Injured by an Intoxicated Driver?

Intoxicated drivers pose a real threat to everyone on the road. This is true regardless of the cause of intoxication. When you are injured or a loved one is killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone on a PDI medication, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your damages.

Herbert Thornbury, Esquire has been helping victims of intoxicated drivers get justice for more than 40 years. To schedule a free case review and learn more about your rights, call 423-265-1100 today. Located in Chattanooga, Attorney Thornbury welcomes clients from all nearby areas of Tennessee and Georgia.