Many substances can impair driving, including some over-the-counter and prescription medicines as well as illegal drugs such as marijuana, opioids and methamphetamines. Some drugs slow coordination, judgment and reaction times, whereas others can make drivers more aggressive and reckless. Driving while impaired by any substance, whether legal or illegal, can put you and other people in harm’s way.
Three tips for avoiding drug-impaired driving
- Check your medication. Prescription and over-the-counter medication can cause drowsiness, dizziness and other side effects, so read the labels carefully to make sure you are safe to drive. Note that warnings against ‘operating heavy machinery’ include driving a vehicle.
- Don’t mix. Using two or more drugs at the same time or mixing with alcohol, can amplify the impairing effects of each drug.
- Act responsibly. If you use an impairing drug, designate a sober driver, arrange a taxi or use public transport. Impaired drivers can’t accurately assess their own impairment. Remember: If you feel different, you drive different.