Driving Danger From Common Medicines

 

Millions of drivers could be at risk of accidents this winter due to the symptoms of common colds and the medication taken to relieve them, according to new research from safe driving experts Privilege Insurance.

With more than half (54 per cent) of British motorists likely to take to the roads while feeling under the weather or on medication, nearly a fifth (18 per cent) admitted their driving had been negatively affected as a result during the past 12 months.

One in ten, the equivalent of 3.3 million drivers 1 , lost concentration at the wheel due to an impaired reaction caused by illness or medication.

Despite the side effects, such as drowsiness, that everyday cold or flu remedies can have, a quarter of drivers admitted to rarely or never checking the side effects of their remedies before setting off, and a third of drivers said there was nothing wrong with driving while on this type of medication.

Conversely, eight in ten drivers would amend their behaviour if they discovered a medicine they were about to take might affect their driving, with a third (36 per cent) holding off taking the medicine until after having driven, and a quarter (24 per cent) not driving at all.

Kate Syred, Marketing and Commercial Director of Privilege Insurance, commented:

"Medicines are clearly labelled for a reason, and those drivers who aren't taking the time to check for side effects could be putting themselves and other road users at risk.  On the plus side, it seems that the majority of drivers do take heed of warnings once they are aware of them." 

Driving when affected by medicines may increase the risk of causing an accident, which could result in a motorist getting points on their licence, or losing it altogether.

25 October 2006 Staff
 
 

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