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Medicines can increase car accident risk in elderly drivers

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2021 | Car Accidents |

The independence of many older people in Ontario involves their ongoing ability to drive. Most age-related medical conditions involve medicines that compromise driving ability. Some of those drivers may take several types of medication without realizing that their combined effect could reduce their abilities to navigate their vehicles without putting their own and other people’s lives on the line.

Some medications and their effects

According to the Canada Safety Council, approximately 9 out of 10 Canadians over 65 take over-the-counter prescription or herbal medications daily. The following are some of the medicines and their effects on drivers:

  • Analgesics: For relief of arthritis and rheumatism pain with drowsiness, ringing in the ears and impaired concentration abilities as side effects.
  • Sedatives: Used for anxiety, typically causing drowsiness and blurred vision
  • Stimulants: Designed to counter fatigue, but can also cause dizziness, overexcitability, and a false sense of alertness.
  • Antihistamines and cough suppressants: Common cold medication that could cause dizziness, blurred vision and drowsiness
  • Antihypertensives: Blood pressure medication with the potential to cause dizziness, blurred vision and drowsiness.
  • Antiarrhythmics: Drugs against heart arrhythmia that could cause dizziness and blurred vision

Sadly, many car accidents are caused by older drivers who do not understand that the time they take their medication could affect their driving ability. Furthermore, using over-the-counter medicines along with prescription drugs without discussing potential side effects with the pharmacist or prescribing physician could impair their ability to drive safely.

Victims of car accidents in Ontario caused by older drivers who were impaired by their medication might have grounds to pursue financial relief. Drivers of all ages are expected to avoid driving while impaired, regardless of whether the cause is alcohol, drugs or medication. They might be declared financially responsible through personal injury lawsuits filed by crash victims.

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