There are car accidents in West Virginia every day that leave drivers injured, disabled and, in the worst cases, dead. These accidents happen for a variety of reasons: disregard of traffic laws, poor road conditions and, sometimes, the effects of medication on a driver. The latter of these is a particularly pernicious problem as the opioid epidemic worsens and more drivers are impaired by prescription medications.
There are a few things everybody on the road should know about driving and medicating. The following are three important facts to keep in mind whether you are taking medication yourself or suspect that you have been in an accident with a driver who was impaired by medication:
1. It can lead to a DUI
It is important to remember that using medication while driving can lead to a DUI charge. If your medication jeopardizes your ability to safely drive, and if you are pulled over and assessed to be impaired, you can be liable for criminal charges even if your medication has been prescribed to you. Do not use any medications that may cause drowsiness or distractions.
2. It may be necessary
While some medications are likely to increase the chances of an accident, others are likely to minimize the chance of collision. According to CNN, drivers with ADHD are far less likely to crash when they are appropriately medicated, for example. If you have a prescription that helps you concentrate or perform daily tasks, you may be a better driver when you are taking it.
3. Understand the risks
No matter what kind of medication is in question, it is important for drivers to understand all the risks and consult their medical provider before driving while under its influence. Every person responds to medication differently, so drivers should be aware of the impact a drug will have before taking it and getting behind the wheel.