About 20 percent of Americans who are taking prescription drugs are unaware that their medications can make it more difficult for them to drive safely, according to a recent study. Researchers have also found a relationship between using some prescription drugs and traffic accidents.
As an example, researchers have found that drivers taking benzodiazepines, which treat anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and can be used for sedation, are up to seven times more likely to be involved in a car crash causing serious injury or death than drivers not taking the drugs. Benzodiazepines have been found to impair driving more than alcohol. However, benzodiazepines are not the only medications that are concerning – some that are also dangerous include prescription sleeping medications, opioids, antidepressants, stimulants, muscle relaxants, and other sedatives.
For the study, researchers collected data anonymously from over 7,000 drivers. About 20 percent of those drivers reported taking at least one potentially impairing prescription drug within the past two days, and many of those drivers didn’t know that their medication could affect their driving ability. Many of those drivers did not receive a warning from a doctor and/or did not review the drug’s label.
However, what the study could not determine is why so many drivers were unaware that the drugs they were taking impaired their driving. It suggested that increasing warnings about the drugs may not be enough to change some drivers’ behavior. In addition, harsher penalties for those found to be impaired may be needed, in addition to roadside testing.
Drivers who are under the influence of prescription drugs can cause accidents that result in serious injuries to the victims. If you have been involved in an accident in Houston with someone who you believe was impaired by prescription drugs, you should speak with an attorney. Call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707. We can help. Call us today to learn more or visit our Twitter feed for more information about the firm.