Are common medications impacting your driving? - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Safe Driving

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Are common medications impacting your driving?

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Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2012 1:00 pm

Developed primarily for seniors, but useful for any driver taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, Roadwise RX was developed to help motorists understand how medications may impact their ability to drive safely.

Developed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, this free, online tool generates personalized, confidential feedback on how medications, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter medications may impact a motorist’s safety behind the wheel.

The tool can be used by anyone, but is especially appropriate for senior drivers, due to chronic medical conditions often requiring multiple medications. AAA recently surveyed senior drivers about medication use and uncovered the following:

• More than 80 percent of drivers age 65 and older regularly take medications, yet only half have talked to a medical professional about safety issues related to driving.

• Women (58 percent) are more likely than men (46 percent) to seek counsel on the risks of driving while on medication.

• Certain antidepressants have been shown to increase crash risk by up to 41 percent.

• Ingredients such as diphenhydramine, commonly found in over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines, can have the same effect on driving as being above the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration.

Roadwise Rx enables motorists to virtually pool together their pill bottles. After using this tool, AAA urges drivers to discuss their confidential results with their health care provider.

The tool is available for free at


• Linda Gorman is communications and public affairs director for AAA Arizona. Reach her at (602) 650-2716 or

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