A car's driver who lost control of his vehicle on U.S. 64 through Davie County, North Carolina (NC), has been charged with causing a crash that left himself and the operator of a tractor-trailer badly injured.
According to police, the driver of the car ran off the right-hand side of the two-lane highway, overcorrected, crossed into the lane of oncoming traffic and struck the trailer of the semi. A brief investigation yielded charges for driving while impaired by prescription medications and for going left of center. The semi driver was not cited for any violations, but his load of cardboard burst into flames after his big rig crashed into a stand of trees beside the highway.
The medication was reported to be a powerful anti-anxiety medication that also gets prescribed to treat insomnia. Taking the drug can leave people mentally unfocused and drowsy, which also occur when people drink too much alcohol. The exact risks of drugged driving are less well-studied and nowhere near as statistically documented, but collisions like this one in North Carolina highlight how dangerous using even prescribed medications can be.
Patients must heed label warnings about waiting to drive after taking doses of sedatives, sleep aids and narcotic painkillers. They must also take drugs strictly as directed to minimize potentially harmful side effects. Failing to use medications safely endangers more than the individuals who take them.