Heading into the festive season brings many temptations to participate in drinking alcohol. Not all drivers can resist, making Florida roads more dangerous than usual. It is not only alcohol consumption that causes impairment. Controlled substances, over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs can inhibit driving abilities.
Many people think they know their limits regarding drinking alcoholic beverages and know when to stop. However, they fail to realize that the initial drink causes impairment, with judgment being the first thing to be affected. Drugs can do the same.
Many medications can adversely affect driving skills. It is a driver’s responsibility to check the label or enclosed pamphlet for warnings. Discussing potential risks and side effects with the prescribing physician or pharmacist is the sensible thing to do.
The same applies to drugs and medications, which could affect driving skills on their own, and even more so when mixing them with alcohol. For example, having one drink while on cold or allergy medication could cause the same level of impairment as several alcoholic beverages.
Signs of impairment by drugs or alcohol include the following:
- Reaction time slows down.
- Short-term memory functions become limited.
- Hand-eye coordination is compromised.
- Perceiving distance and time becomes difficult.
- Concentration ability is weakened.
Responsible drivers avoid driving while impaired as a matter of course. However, many Florida drivers will give in to temptations again this year. Sadly, the road accidents they cause often leave sober drivers and their passengers severely injured or worse. When that happens, recovery of damages may be pursued by filing personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits in a civil court.