New RACQ research has revealed four in 10 Queensland drivers admit to ignoring medical and pharmaceutical warnings and driving after taking prescription drugs.
New RACQ research has revealed four in 10 Queensland drivers admit to ignoring medical and pharmaceutical warnings and driving after taking prescription drugs.

Drug driving is an increasing menace on the roads

MY FATHER, like many Aussies of his generation, was fond of a drink or three.

Alternately referring to it as a "social lubricant" or "a great way to unwind" after a hard day's work, dad's weekday routine always involved a couple of drinks at the pub before heading home.

Thankfully, that kind of institutionalised drink driving is all but gone from our culture - and we're all safer for it.

But an equally dangerous activity behind the wheel seems to be increasingly popular, driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

Joe Fitzgerald.
Joe Fitzgerald.

New RACQ research has revealed four in 10 Queensland drivers admit to ignoring medical and pharmaceutical warnings and driving after taking prescription drugs.

By contrast, only 8% of motorists admitted to driving after using illicit drugs, meaning five times more people are on the roads affected by otherwise perfectly legal prescription drugs, than illegal ones.

Simply put, they are risking their lives, and the lives of other road users. Just like drink drivers, come to think of it.

So for everyone who cries foul that nowadays peanut butter has to carry a label warning that the product "may contain nuts", you can't have it both ways. Clearly, the warning labels on prescription drugs are there for a good reason.

Importantly, ignoring those warnings may land you in trouble if you're involved in a crash.

I've taken plenty of prescribed drugs that have affected me more than a few drinks ever would, so play it safe and talk to your pharmacist or doctor before getting behind the wheel.


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