As reported by the Senior Journal, more than 80 percent of drivers 65 and older regularly take medications, but only half of these have talked to a doctor about the possible safety issues related to driving associated with their medications. According to the article, AAA has started promoting Roadwise Rx, a program to help older Americans understand how medications may affect their ability to safely drive a vehicle.
The program, developed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, is an online tool detailing common side effects of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
AAA’s President & CEO Robert Darbelnet told Senior Journal, “Roadwise Rx lets users move beyond the old-fashioned “brown bag” review with an easy way to virtually pool together their pill bottles and talk to their doctor.â€
Certain types of medication, such as antidepressants, have been shown to increase crash risk by as much as 41 percent, according to Senior Journal. In addition, ingredients commonly found in over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines, like Diphenhydramine, can have a similar effect as being above the legal limit for blood alcohol levels.
AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger also told Senior Journal that research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that nearly one out of five older drivers use five or more prescription medications. The interactions of different prescriptions with each other can also pose a potential risk to safe driving.
Roadwise Rx is available at no cost. More information on AAA’s free resources for senior drivers and their families is available at SeniorDrivingAAA.com.
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