Chicago Personal Injury – Prescription Drugs May Impact Driving Performance
June 7, 2011
Although the information in the article below appears to be axiomatic, too many people, including judges fail to realize that information regarding drugs, prescription or otherwise, is very relevant to establish whether a defendant was negligent in the operation of his or her motor vehicle at the time he or she was involved in a Chicago personal injury event.
On more than one occasion arguments have to be laid down, briefs written and then oral argument has to be held in court to show a judge that the information is important and relevant to the issues at hand.
It is estimated that by 2030 over 70 million Americans will be over age 65. This age group has a higher rate of fatality and injury in motor vehicle crashes per mile driven than any other age group except for teenagers. Many age-related factors are known to impair driving ability, including age-related decrements in cognitive and physical functioning, increased prevalence of medical conditions or age-related medical conditions, and increased use of multiple medications.
Researchers at the Center for Injury Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham UAB have found that many drivers, especially older drivers, are unaware that their prescription drugs can impact their driving performance. Only 28% of the 630 drivers aged 56 to 93 survey reported receiving a warning from a health-care professional about potential driver-impairing PDI medications.
To qualify as a PDI medication, the medication has to be associated with known effects on the central nervous system, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, vision, or otherwise have the potential to interfere with driving skills. Possible PDI effects include sedation, hypoglycemia, blurred vision, hypotension, dizziness, fainting syncope, and loss of coordination ataxia.
PDIs include medications such as ACE inhibitors, antidepressants, sedatives and beta-blockers.