When most drivers think of drunk driving accidents, they think of car accidents caused by alcohol consumption. While it is true that drunk driving accidents cause fatalities and serious personal injuries – including permanent spinal cord injuries and brain injuries – drivers can be driving under the influence of many substances, not just alcohol. Even if you don’t drink and drive, other things you consume can affect your driving ability. For instance, many drivers overlook the effects of prescription and over the counter drugs on their ability to drive a car.
All medications have side effects, and some medications have side effects that are serious enough to seriously impair your ability as a driver. Some powerful painkillers, for example, may make you feel groggy or may slow your response times. Some medications can cause dizziness, confusion, and vision problems, which can affect a person’s ability to drive a vehicle. In addition, some medications can interact with other medications to produce unwanted side effects. In rarer cases, bad allergic reactions to medications can cause unwanted and dangerous side effects.
Driving while using prescription drugs can have serious consequences. If the medications cause vision problems, slow response times, and fatigue, it is possible that a driver will lose control of the vehicle or fail to act quickly enough to prevent an accident. Accidents caused by drivers driving under the influence of medication can cause serious property damage as well as fatalities, brain injuries, burn injuries, broken bones, and other serious injuries.
If you are taking a new medication, it is important to speak to your pharmacist and doctor about the medication. Ask about any expected side effects and any possible interactions with other medications and over the counter medications you are taking. Also, ask about any possible allergic reactions. Read labels carefully. If a drug advises you not to drive or not operate heavy machinery, you should not drive a vehicle while taking the medication.
If you drive under the influence of medications that can affect your ability to drive, you ma be held liable in the event of an accident. Such accidents may also spark investigations of prescribing doctors and drug manufacturers. In some cases, medical malpractice suits can arise if a physician negligently prescribes a medication. In some cases, drug companies are held partly liable if their product contributes to an accident and it is found that the drug did not have adequate testing or labelling to help customers recognize the dangers of the medication.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by a driver who was on medication, you need to consult a qualified Florida attorney. A Florida personal injury attorney can investigate the causes of the crash and can help protect you legally so that you have access to all the medical resources available to you under the law.