According to a recent poll which was conducted by GEM Motoring Assist, a road safety expert, 1 in 10 drivers has admitted to the fact that their ability to drive may have been impaired after taking medication. 3 per cent admitted that had actually had an accident or a near miss whilst under the influence of prescription or over the counter medication.
It would also seem that a good majority of people when questioned were blissfully unaware that they could in fact be breaking the law if they were to drive while affected. Almost a third of the people questioned said that they regularly take medicines and then drive.
This poll has led the GEM Motoring Assist to develop a new leaflet to raise the much needed awareness of the issues associated with driving whilst under the influence of prescription or over the counter medicines.
This topic was also recently raised by the Resident GP of ITV’s This Morning programme, Dr. Chris Steele MBE, who is quoted as saying “In some circumstances driving while impaired by medication can be as dangerous as ‘drink driving’. I strongly support the advice given in this leaflet that drivers taking medicine should always check with their doctor or pharmacist before they drive.”
There is evidence gained when the poll was carried out that 7 out of 10 people thought that they were not given enough information about prescription or over the counter medicines and their effects when driving, with a staggering 1 in 4 admitting that they were confused by the warnings given on medicine packaging.
There definitely needs to be more information given out, ultimately it is up to the individual to ask advice when purchasing medication, however, pharmacists and doctors must be more forthcoming and warn of the potential dangers when combining medicines and driving.
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18 April 2011, 02:47PM
The more one reads about this the less I want to be on the roads any more. In Britain, we seem to have poor roads, too many cars, too few insured drivers and now, too many under the influence of something or other.
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