Medication And Driving

Taking medication can reduce your ability to concentrate and increase your risk of being involved in an accident.

Impairment can be caused by illegal substances or by legal approved or prescribed medication. The law treats driving whilst impaired through drugs in the same way as driving whilst under the influence of alcohol, with potential fines, disqualification, imprisonment and loss of employment.

Taking medication for many ailments is a relatively common and accepted routine. However, some medications have strong side-effects. You may also react differently if even small amounts of alcohol have been consumed or if taken in conjunction with other medications.

Read the information provided with your medication carefully or speak to the pharmacist/your GP to understand how your medication may affect you. Be conscious of any changes you notice and if in doubt, go back to your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

Remember if you have consumed alcohol, whilst you might be under the legal limit, you can also be prosecuted for driving whilst impaired by “drink or drugs”. The penalties are the same; fines, disqualification or imprisonment.

Be Aware

  • Loss of concentration is a common cause of collisions and some medications will affect your ability to concentrate.

  • Medication can affect different people in different ways, so listen to your body.

  • If you are affected by medication, changes in attention levels can increase your risk of being involved in an incident.

  • You may feel more tired than normal. Tiredness exacerbates concentration loss and you could be slow to react to situations.

  • If you are unsure how you might react to new medication, avoid long journeys.

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