As wiser drivers, older drivers know to never drink and drive, but what about drugged driving?  Some prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs may seriously impair our ability to drive safely, yet most of us don’t think twice about this dangerous combination.

Growing concern 

With the number of drivers 55 years of age and older expected to increase by more than half by 2030, this issue is likely to be a growing concern particularly with a number of state approving the use of medical marijuana

"Seventy-eight percent of people ages 55 and older use one or more medications to treat various medical conditions, yet only one out of every four is aware of the potential impact those medications might have on driving performance."

According to a recent AAA study, 78 percent of people ages 55 and older use one or more medications to treat various medical conditions, yet only one out of every four is aware of the potential impact those medications might have on driving performance.  The effects of some common medications may include sleepiness, blurred vision, slowed movement and fainting, to name just a few. 

Safety is king

If you take prescription or OTC medications, talk to a pharmacist or health care provider to ensure your safety while driving. And don’t forget to share the names and dosages of other prescription and OTC medications you might be taking.  Sometimes it’s the interaction between one or more medications that can create a serious problem.

Q: How can I find alternative transportation resources in my mother or father’s community?

A: Supplemental transportation programs (STIs) are community-based programs designed to complement public transit so seniors may get to where they need to go.

Q: What are some signs I should look for that indicate my parent’s driving skills may be weakening?

A: A few signs that may indicate diminished driving skills may include decreased reaction time, getting lost on familiar roads, difficulty working the pedals and trouble merging or changing lanes, to list a few.