The Dangers of Driving on Cold Medicine

Well, it’s finally here. The dreaded, the worst, everyone’s least favorite thing: cold and flu season.

It’s a bittersweet arrival. As much as we love fall and its pumpkin spice lattes, flannels, and holidays, there’s not a single person on the planet who welcomes sniffles and sickness with open arms.

cat sneezing

Flu season means heading to the local drugstore and stocking up on the essentials. Your mom has already lectured you about getting a flu shot 1,000 times, so you probably have that covered. If not, do it before it’s too late. You’re welcome for the reminder, mom! But you’ve also got to grab cough drops, nasal spray, and of course, cold medicine.

Now, cold medicine probably sounds like it’s exactly what the doctor ordered for the hazardous times of the season, but it doesn’t come without its own side effects, some of which can actually be almost as bad if not worse than sneezing or runny noses.

Be sure to check out some of the possible effects of your cold medicine, as these things will not only affect you as you head to work or class, but they can also be extremely dangerous when getting behind the wheel.

Taking cold medicine can result in a drowsiness, which is never good for drivers. Drowsiness can lead to falling asleep or dozing off at the wheel, which is not only dangerous toyou, but also to other drivers. It can also cause trouble sleeping, which leads to exhaustion and a similar result.

Cold medicine can also result in dizziness or vertigo, making drivers disoriented and leaving them unable to clearly, adequately maneuver a vehicle. Swerving into other lanes and being unable to navigate the road is also incredibly dangerous for everyone.

 In rare or extreme circumstances, cold medicines may also cause hallucinations. This is a grave problem for drivers, who must remain focused, calm, collected, and present as they hit the road. Defensive driving is nearly impossible under these circumstances, let alone remaining an active and prepared driver.

The severity of each of these side effects varies depending on the dosage and the patient, but in any case, it’s always best to take medicine responsibly. There are legal ramifications for those who drive while dangerously impaired and put other people at risk. These laws and standards vary by state and area, but they each serve to protect your wellbeing as well as that of your fellow drivers and their passengers.

Cold and flu season is definitely not the most wonderful time of the year, but just remember to stay healthy and take preventative measures, being extra cautious in regards to driving as well as your health.

Krista Doyle