The Dangers of Driving While Taking Medicine

In April of this year, Phillip Smith was driving his car on a road in Lake County.  The retired construction worker ran a red light and crashed his car into a school bus full of children.  Although none of the children were fatally injured, Smith died from injuries sustained in the accident.

The autopsy performed on Smith revealed that he was impaired by the presence of multiple drugs in his system.  Drugs in his system included a sedative and a narcotic painkiller, both of which can cause drowsiness, fogginess and slower reflexes.  Yet, both medications were supplied by his doctor to combat chronic back and neck pain from a fractured vertebra mere weeks before this car accident.

Most research done into the use of narcotic medications assumed that people who continually use this medicine would develop a tolerance which would allow them to drive.  New research has shown that this may not be the case.

One recent study has shown that high doses of painkillers increase the likelihood that a driver will be involved in a crash.  The study’s realization made a medical journal to advise that doctors should “weigh the risk of road trauma into our decisions about the benefits and harms of opioids.”

A different medical study came to a similar decision.  It found that drivers who used narcotics were more likely to execute “unsafe driving actions.”  These actions make drivers responsible for nearly 150 fatal crashes in the US every year.

Driving is a skill that requires concentration, physical ability and an understanding of the rules of the road.  Medicines can cause adverse side effects like drowsiness, nausea, and blurred vision that curb the ability to drive safely.  If you have been involved in an accident which was due to the negligence of another party, you deserve compensation.  Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Hinsdale today.

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