When you hear the word “fatigue,” lack of sleep comes to mind. But, with cold and flu season, it’s good to remember that most cold medications contain ingredients that will not only knock your cold out, but will likely knock you out as well. Basically, any cold medication that comes with its own shot glass is a pretty good indication that you’re in for one heck of a ride. And it’s hard to justify missing work unless you’re on your death bed, right? So, there you go, driving to work while hopped up on cold medicine. Or, what the law likes to refer to as fatigued driving. You know, it is just as dangerous to be driving while fatigued as it is to be driving drunk. Most states have laws intended to curb this problem. Driving while drowsy may be punishable by a class A misdemeanor. And negligent vehicular homicide caused by driving while ability impaired by fatigue is punishable by a class E felony.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported that drowsy driving was likely the cause of more than half of crashes leading to a truck driver’s death. And, for each truck driver fatality, another three to four people are killed. And, not only taking medicine before driving, but how about if you’re not taking your medicine? Blood pressure medications, seizure medications and diabetics medications are just a few to be certain to maintain so you don’t have an episode while driving.
Just remember to read the crimp in the box and label on your medicine bottle (prescription and over the counter). They typically list indications of reactions to the medicine. And those indications contain phrases such as don’t operate machinery, don’t drive a car, may cause drowsiness, don’t mix with alcohol and don’t get anywhere near a 24 hour wedding chapel.
Until next week…
Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Fatigued Driving – Comedy Defensive Driving