If you were injured in a car crash, you likely have at least some anxiety about getting behind the wheel again. Even if the crash was the other driver’s fault, or if you were a passenger, it can be stressful to get back on the road again. However, you know that the longer you wait, the more anxiety-ridden you’ll be when you finally do.
If you’re still taking pain medication for your injuries, however, you need to understand the effect those drugs will have on your focus, your reaction time and your ability to stay awake. Carefully read and adhere to any warnings on the packaging and what your doctor and pharmacist tell you — otherwise you could compound your problems with another accident.
Prescription pain killers and driving
If you’re on prescription pain medication, it’s likely an opioid. Anything with opioids in it, from codeine to OxyContin, comes with a warning about driving.
These warnings aren’t just there to keep the pharmaceutical companies from being sued. While these drugs can be effective in treating pain, they can cause confusion and drowsiness -– two things you definitely don’t want when you’re driving.
Over-the-counter medications and driving
Maybe you rejected prescription pain meds and decided to tough it out with over-the-counter medications. Perhaps you’ve been able to stop taking your prescription pain drugs and get by with something like Tylenol, Aleve or aspirin. It’s safe to drive if you’re only on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), right?
Typically, it is — as long as you don’t consume alcohol, recreational drugs or prescription anti-anxiety medication with it. People do a lot of things to deal with the aftermath of a traumatic event like a car crash. Just be aware of everything you have in your system before you get behind the wheel.
If you’ve been injured in a crash caused by a reckless or negligent driver, the long-term consequences and limitations on your life can last for quite a while. Don’t just accept the settlement the insurance company offers you. It’s wise to consult with an experienced attorney.