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Medications and Supplements Can Cause Car, Motorcycle and Truck Accidents

January 9, 2013 | Category: Motorcycle Accidents, Truck Accidents | Share

Safe driving requires being in a good physical, mental and emotional condition.  Drivers who are not, often cause automobile, motorcycle and truck accidents.  Drivers under the influence of alcohol are dangerous because their physical, mental, and emotional conditions are impaired.  They are breaking the law, Florida Statute 316.193, and may be required to take a substance abuse course and subject to monthly reporting probation.  But what is sometimes forgotten is that alcohol is not the only substance which is dangerous when driving.

Prescription medicine and over-the-counter medication as well as herbal supplements can cause impaired driving. Medications and supplements can on their own, or in combination, can cause drowsiness, poor coordination, erratic and aggressive behavior, tremors or shaking, over- confidence leading to taking unneeded risks, blurred vision, dizziness, the inability to pay attention or stay focused, fainting, severe nausea, hallucinations, panic attacks and other problems. When some medications and supplements are combined with each other and/or alcohol these conditions may intensify severely.  This problem exists for drivers of all ages but becomes even a greater problem for older adults, as when people age they become more susceptible to medication side effects and related problems. 

Prescripts bottle warning label

Attorney Randall Spivey, Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. points out,  “Allergy medication, for example, is of concern as it often contains antihistamines as do many over-the-counter cold and cough remedies. Research done by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has shown that many allergy medications can cause impaired driving equal to, or worse than, alcohol. 
Antihistamines have side effects which include sleepiness and can cause driver impairment. Drivers should understand the side effects of the medicine or supplements they are taking before getting behind the wheel.  Discuss with a doctor or a pharmacist if it is safe to get behind the wheel.  Also, be sure to ask them if it is safe to drink alcoholic beverages while taking medicine and supplements.”

Medicine and supplements taken as antidepressants, for sleeping, as tranquilizers, for pain, high blood pressure and cholesterol are among those which can cause driver impairment similar to drunk driving. When these are mixed with alcohol, the combination is a recipe for disaster.  

In recognition of the significance of the problems of driving while taking medicine and supplements, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has developed a personalized confidential online tool where to record a list of medications and receive feedback about interactions and side effects and how they may impact safety when driving. This tool, known as RoadwiseRx, can be accessed here.  It is not, however, intended to be a substitute for consulting medical professionals about this very important issue.

Another good resource regarding the safety of over-the-counter and prescription medications is the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research which is part of the Food and Drug Administration.



Accident Lawyer Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by less than 2 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 1,500 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at  239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit  for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.


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