We see it all the time on prescription pill labels, the line goes something like: Do not operate heavy machinery while taking this medication. It may interest Tennessee residents to know that some researchers are now reported to have said that certain medications shouldn’t be taken if a person is going to be driving or operating their heavy motor vehicle, namely antidepressants. Antidepressants or other prescription drugs that affect cognitive functions or behavior could slow down reaction time, causing driving to be potentially very dangerous.

The demand for antidepressants has grown increasingly in recent years and researchers appear to be worried about the amount of medicated drivers on the road. Tests have shown that taking these medications could increase the risk of an accident by 70%. The research done by the National Health Research Institutes, located in Zhunan, Taiwan has shown that even if a driver has just taken the medication hours before, their motor vehicle skills could still likely be impaired.

These researchers have also reportedly said that the medication’s warning label on the bottle ought to specifically state that driving is affected, or that doctors should mention this to their patients perhaps more than they might already be doing. It seems that for these scientists, the more caution, the better.

If you are taking a medication for mood disorder or psychological purposes, it could be crucial that you discuss all of the potential side effects with your doctor. Should you find yourself in a situation where you believe someone involved in a motor vehicle accident was under the influence of a prescription drug, finding an experienced attorney could help the parties involved to seek compensation and find a way to move forward.

Source: dailymail.co.uk, “Taking Prozac? Don’t drive: pills raise risk of you having an accident by 70%,” Sophie Borland, Sept. 12, 2012

  • Our firm handles personal injury cases involving motor vehicle accidents. To learn more, visit the automobile accident page on our website.