Elderly drivers: Confused.com put OAPs to the test
Older drivers above the age of 70 have been targeted in a major winter warning which could have devastating consequences.
Experts at the Older Drivers Forum warn taking legal medication and prescription drugs could make road users drowsy behind the wheel.
This could see motorists break key driving laws and see them slapped with hefty fines in a major blow ahead of Christmas.
Concerns around medication were one of the Older Driver Forum’s top tips for elderly motorists to be aware of this winter.
They said: “In winter we may require over-the-counter cold medicines. Check with the pharmacist whether these might make you feel drowsy and ask for a non-drowsy option.
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“Further checks need to be made if there is a change in dosage, or a new prescription is given with a potential negative interaction with an existing medication.
“Don’t forget to mention any herbal supplements you may be taking.”
According to GOV.UK motorists could be prosecuted if they drive with certain levels of legal drugs in their system.
Rule 91 of the Highway Code also states driving tired greatly increases the risk of a collision.
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To minimise the possible effects, the Code clearly says road users should only travel if they are fit to drive.
Penalties for ignoring the rules can include an unlimited fine and a minimum one-year driving ban.
Under some circumstances, motorists could even be convicted of drug driving and handed out a custodial sentence.
Last month, experts at Quotezone also highlighted the possible risks of legal prescription drugs.
Greg Wilson, spokesman for the car comparison site added: “You might not think that taking cold and flu tablets could lead to a criminal conviction, but in actual fact, many common over-the-counter drugs have ingredients that could potentially make you drowsy.
“If you’re unwell, it’s imperative to check that what you are taking won’t cause drowsiness or dizziness or any side effects that could impair your ability to drive such as blurred vision or slow reaction times.”
Full list of prescription medication
According to GOV.UK, motorists should talk to their doctor about whether they can drive if they have been prescribed any of these drugs.
- amphetamine, for example, dexamphetamine or selegiline
- morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs, for example, codeine, tramadol or fentanyl
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