Results from studies designed to estimate the effects of small doses of medicinal drugs on driving are discussed. Although driving while impaired by drugs is an offence, the effects of drugs are much harder to study than those of alcohol, partly because of their complex metabolism, but also because the condition for which the drug is prescribed, may in itself be likely to impair driving. There was evidence that some drivers involved in accidents had been taking psychotropic drugs, and in 12 per cent of the accidents where alcohol had been a major cause, drugs had also been taken. Although many people may be safer than without medication, the effect of drugs in a difficult situation, or when risk-taking could be lethal. Examples are given of cases where insufficient warning of the effects of the drug have been given to the patient. Suggestions are made on methods of labelling prescribed drugs. Self-medication can be hazardous because antihistamine and other dangerous substances can be included in cough and cold remedies. Potential dangers of drug abuse and driving are outlined. /TRRL/

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    British Medical Association

    BMA House, Tavistock Square
    London WC1H 9JR,   United Kingdom 
  • Publication Date: 1978-11-18

Media Info

  • Features: Photos; References;
  • Pagination: p. 1415-17
  • Serial:
    • BMJ
    • Volume: 2
    • Issue Number: 6149
    • Publisher: British Medical Association
    • ISSN: 0959-8138
    • Serial URL:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00194437
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 11 1979 12:00AM