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Drugged Driving or 'Driving While Medicated' Can Be a Big Problem

by Vicki Simons
(South Carolina, USA)

From time to time, Vicki reads an article about a trucker who experienced a "medical emergency" being involved in an incident or accident. Sometimes the article is vague (meaning that the article doesn't say what kind of medical emergency the trucker had).

But according to one source, "'Driving While Medicated' [is] now a greater danger to society than driving drunk: Crashes from prescription meds [are] up 100% in [the] past decade".

This came about as a result of golfing legend Tiger Woods being arrested "for driving under the influence of prescription drugs".

According to a second article, Woods stated, "What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly."

There has been some pressure on trucking companies to accept into their fleets drivers who are on prescription drugs. Depending on what kind of drugs these are, that may be a big problem for the motoring public.

It is certainly a potential liability for any trucking company after a "drugged trucker" is involved in an accident.

Can you imagine the questions?
- "So you hired this guy/gal knowing that he/she was on this prescription drug?"
- "Were you aware of the adverse effects and interactions that this drug can have?"

There has been push back from those who do not want to undergo drug testing such as from a hair sample or biometric screening. While such testing could be considered invasive, it must be understood that truckers are subject to undergo a random urinalysis at any time.

Regarding this subject of "driving while medicated" or "drugged driving":

1. Please always be aware of the impact that drugs (over-the-counter or prescription) have on your body;

2. If you feel that you are not in complete control of all of your faculties while driving, find a safe and legal place to park until all of your faculties return and contact both your driver manager and your health care provider immediately;

3. Consider whether there are better options to deal with your health challenge(s); and

4. Be on the watch for those who are driving erratically so that you do not become involved in an accident with them -- and potentially report the erratic driver to someone in law enforcement.

Protect yourself, your truck, your load, and those around you.

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