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My name is Steve Young and I am a retired California Highway Patrol Officer. I will also be your instructor in one of the online traffic courses with B Line Traffic Schools. No matter what course you sign up for, my goals are the same: Present you with the information that you need in a way that will not put you to sleep and then get you back to your life.  Throughout some of the courses I have included interesting situations, people and other random things I have come across in my 25+ years with the CHP to break things up a bit. Ok ok, enough about me. Close this window and start your course with B Line Traffic Schools today.

Medications, Sleep and Driving

29 Jul Blog | Comments

It is a well-known fact that driving with illegal drugs and/or alcohol in your system is very unsafe. People get into accidents, and sometimes the accidents are minor and sometimes the accidents cause death. Neither end-result is good which is why if you are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol you could go to jail, lose your license and you will have to pay a hefty fine.

What many people do not realize is that there are other things that can impede a person’s driving as much or more than illegal drugs and/or alcohol.

  • Medications – There are many medications on the market today that can cause drowsiness. What’s really important to understand here is that different medications affect people differently. That is why it is extremely important to read the labels and the side effects pamphlet that comes with your medication. If there is even a remote chance that the medication you are taking could make you drowsy it is imperative that you take the medication at home, when you do not need to drive for several hours.

Is also important to understand that just because your best friend took that medication last year and it didn’t bother her at all does not mean it will not affect you in any way. Everyone’s body reacts to medications differently. Another important tip to keep in mind is that some medications by themselves will not make you drowsy. However, if you are taking more than one medication the combination of one or more medications could make you drowsy.

Many people have ended up in accidents because they did not realize that the medication they were taking could impede their driving abilities. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the law not knowing how a medication will affect your body is not a good reason for getting behind the wheel under the influence of any type of drug without understanding how it could affect your driving abilities.

  • Lack of Sleep – There have been many studies that show a person who has not gotten the proper amount of sleep is just as, or more dangerous than a person under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Falling asleep at the wheel can actually be more dangerous because the person asleep at wheel can no longer react at all to what is happening in front of them.

The argument is that at least a person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol still has some reflexes available to them. Granted those reflexes are slower and are still not considered safe, but they are likely more reactive than a person who asleep at the wheel.

Driving is wonderful and gives a person independence, but independence comes with a cost, responsibility. You are responsible for not only your life, but also the life of anyone who is in your car, and/or in the vicinity of your car. Part of your responsibilities are to: drive sober, get enough sleep to be behind the wheel and make sure that you will not get drowsy from any of the medications you are taking.


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