Prescription Medication

Prescription drugs can also come with a variety of side effects that can affect the way in which you drive. Make sure that you check with your GP, and the information leaflet that comes with your medication. It is illegal for you to be driving if adversely affected by any medication (drugs) you may be taking. Common side effects of drugs can include;


Feeling hostile and destructive can lead to the driver taking unnecessary risks


Feeling apprehensive, uncertain and fearful without any apparent reason. This distracts attention from driving

Auditory hallucinations

Hearing voices (that are not there) which distract the person from driving

Blurred vision

Being unable to see clearly or focus, as the driver’s vision is misty or distorted

Confused thinking

Being unable to think straight therefore not being as good at judging distances and speed


Muscles contracting painfully can cause the person to have difficulty controlling their car

Distorted perception

Being unable to see, hear, smell or touch accurately. The driver is then unable to accurately understand the meaning of road signs or take notice of their surroundings


Finding it difficult to concentrate on driving or take notice of surroundings because of lightheaded and unsteady feelings

Enlarged pupils

Being unable to see or focus properly, as the driver’s pupils are too open for the lighting conditions

Erratic behaviour

Unexpected or unpredictable behaviour can cause the driver to take unnecessary risks

Field Impairment Assessment (FIA)

A series of assessments administered by a trained professional designed to identify those driving impaired, under the influence of drugs

Impaired coordination

Finding it difficult to do several common tasks at the same time, such as safely steering the car, changing gears and checking mirrors

Impaired judgement

Being unable to make a correct decision

Impaired steering control

Being unable to safely control the car using the steering wheel, so the car may drift

Increased risk taking

Taking risks that the driver wouldn’t otherwise take, and not realising how unnecessarily dangerous the risk can be


The driver can be distracted from driving and unable to concentrate due to a sickness feeling

Over confidence

The feeling of being invincible on the road can lead to the driver taking unnecessary risks, without realising the danger

Panic attacks

Experiencing extreme and unreasonable fear and anxiety, distracting and preventing the driver from driving as safely as they usually do


The feeling of being persecuted causing the driver to act in an unexpected manner

Poor concentration

Unable to focus on the task of driving and being easily distracted by less important things

Poor control

Not having the same degree of control over one’s actions when driving, so not being able to get out of difficult situations on the road as efficiently


Finding it difficult to stay still or concentrate on driving, so that the driver behaves in an unexpected manner or takes unnecessary risks

Sleepiness / Severe tiredness

Being in danger of falling asleep at the wheel. The driver is also unable to react quickly, concentrate, or take notice of their surroundings

Short term memory loss

Being unable to remember things from the recent past easily, concentrate or anticipate things when driving

Slower reaction time

Being unable to react to unexpected events on the road quickly, correctly or safely


Having body trembles or shakes, affecting the ability to safely control the car

Terrifying thoughts and feelings

Experiencing frightening thoughts or feel very scared. This distracts the driver and causes them to behave in an unexpected manner or take unnecessary risks

Visual hallucinations

Feeling confused and distracted from driving so that the driver sees things that aren’t really there

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