AAA Foundation Study Finds Many Drive on Potentially Impairing Medications

Local News Stories

ZANESVILLE, Oh – A new study by the AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety revealed that many drivers use one or more potentially impairing medications while operating a vehicle. 

Many of the medications have possible side effects that are extremely dangerous when mixed with driving.

These dangerous side effects include dizziness, blurred vision, attention problems, slowed movement, and a variety of other harmful symptoms.

AAA Ohio Public Relations Manager Kimberly Schwind says driving under the influence of these medications can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

“What people have to understand is that impaired driving is impaired driving. Whether it’s a prescription medication, alcohol, or another drug. If it impairs your ability to think clearly, if it causes dizziness or drowsiness, any other impairment, then that can put you at risk, and put others at risk on the roadways,” she explained.

Another shocking finding of the study discovered that part of the issue lies with healthcare providers, such as doctors and pharmacists who aren’t providing the necessary warnings and information to their patients about potential impairment from medications.

Over half the drivers taking potentially impairing medications did not report receiving any warning from their healthcare providers, so Schwind encourages you to be sure to advocate for yourself to ensure you are properly informed about these potential side effects.

“These medications do have the potential to impair one’s driving and make it unsafe behind the wheel. So AAA really urges healthcare providers to make sure that they’re providing warnings to their patients, and make sure that drivers ask the questions. Be proactive about your healthcare and if you are taking a medication and ask if there may be some potentially impairing effects that may impact your driving,” she said.

She also notes that drivers who do receive warnings from their doctor are 18% less likely to get behind the wheel after taking certain medications.

For more information about the study, you can visit https://aaafoundation.org/research/ and you should also consult with your doctor for more information on your medications.

Maggie Warren
Maggie was born and raised in Speedway, Indiana where she developed her love and passion for weather, IndyCar and F1, hockey, and baseball, especially the Detroit Red Wings and the Cincinnati Reds. When she's not at work, she enjoys binge-watching her favorite tv shows, writing, hiking, and doing pretty much any outdoor activity! Maggie graduated from Ball State University, where she majored in meteorology/climatology, in Fall 2020. While at Ball State, she was a member of the Storm Chase Team and Cardinal Weather Service. She is also a member of the American Meteorological Society. She loves exploring new places, so if you have any recommendations of places she should visit, let her know! And if you see her around town, don't be shy, say hi!