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The relationship between drugs and truck accidents

An accident with a 18-wheeler is a terrifying experience -- one that nobody ever should have to go through.

Sometimes, they're unavoidable. A piece of machinery breaks or a perfectly decent-looking tire blows out on the road. However, 44 percent of truck accidents involve either prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

Why would legal medication be involved in so many accidents?

The odds are good that the answer is a combination of human error or misjudgment and the side effects of the drugs themselves.

There are dozens of over-the-counter prescriptions and legal medications that can cause symptoms that could slow a driver's reaction times and cloud his or her judgment. Some could even put a driver to sleep behind the wheel!

If a driver thinks that he or she isn't going to be affected by a medication and gets behind the wheel without testing out the drug first, he or she is setting the stage for a serious accident.

Common offenders include things like prescription pain killers, including drugs like Vicodin. Muscle relaxants, like Norflex are another common prescription -- usually given to people who suffer from lower back pain -- that can cause sleepiness. Prescription sleep aids, like Ambien, can also leave a driver sedated well into the next morning.

Even if a driver isn't taking a prescription that shouldn't be combined with driving, he or she may be taking an over-the-counter drug that's equally bad. Many people don't realize that most over-the-counter medications started out as prescriptions. Common allergy medications like Benadryl and Claritin are known to make some people extremely sedated. Drugs like Mucinex and Dimetapp, both of which are used to treat colds and flu-like symptoms, can also impair a driver's judgment.

If you've been the victim of a truck accident, one of the things that should be closely examined is whether or not the driver was impaired due to his or her medication. That could be enough to show that the driver was negligent. No one should get behind the wheel of a big rig when impaired by any substance -- even if it's "just a prescription."

Source: fueloyal.com, "10 Exclusive Tips to Prevent Truck Accidents," Jurica Magoci, accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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