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AAA report: Many admit to taking medications that could impair driving

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A new report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows many Americans admit to taking medications that could impair driving before getting behind the wheel. The study shows over 30-day period, about half of Americans reporting using a potentially driving impairing medication.

A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals drivers admit to taking one or more potentially impairing medications before getting behind the wheel.

AAA’s study focused on commonly used medications like antihistamines, cough medicines, anti-depressants and prescription pain meds. These are identified as potentially driver impairing or “PDI” medications.

PDI’s put drivers at risk by causing nausea, sleepiness, blurred vision and slowed reaction time among other issues.

Adrienne Woodland, spokeswoman for AAA – The Auto Club Group, says quote, “Impaired driving is often associated with alcohol or illegal drug use, but over-the-counter or prescription medications can also compromise your ability to drive safely,” “Unfortunately, not everyone realizes their medications can impair their driving and make the mistake of getting behind the wheel.”

It was also revealed that some drivers who are prescribed PDI medications may not be aware of the possible impacts on their driving ability. According to the study, 20%-50% of drivers received no warning from a healthcare provider that the medication could affect their ability to drive.

AAA offers these tips to drivers…don’t underestimate the risks of driving after using medications and be responsible, have a back-up plan, like finding a designated driver if needed.

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.
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