The Johnson Law Firm, LLC

Car accidents: The impact of medication on a safe driving

Missouri drivers with medical conditions may not recognize the threat this may pose to their own lives and the lives of others. Medical conditions need not necessarily prevent drivers from driving, but if not properly managed, they can cause devastating car accidents. Conditions that may affect a driver's abilities include sleep disorders, impaired vision, diabetes, dementia, seizures and physical limitations.

A common misconception is that only older drivers are prone to medical episodes while driving. The truth is that drivers of any age can be affected. A further threat to driver's safety is over-the-counter or prescribed medications that are commonly used with greater frequency as people age. Certain medications cause drowsiness or dizziness that affects the reaction times and observation abilities of drivers.

Combinations of different types of medications can cause even more severe symptoms and could even result in seizures. It is illegal to drive while impaired by any type of medication in Missouri. This does not necessarily mean that a driver on medication may not drive at all because medical conditions can mostly be managed under the care of a physician. A doctor can also ensure that dangerous combinations of medicines are avoided.

Drivers in Missouri who drive under the influence of medication can be held accountable if they should cause injuries or death in car accidents. Victims of such accidents -- and family members of those who lost their lives -- may pursue litigation by filing personal injury or wrongful death claims in a civil court. If negligence on the part of the alleged impaired driver can be established, the court may award monetary compensation for documented financial and emotional damages that were brought about by the accident.

Source: seniordriving.aaa.com, "Medical Conditions & Medications", Accessed on Dec. 25, 2015

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