Health & Wellness

Older Drivers on Multiple Meds Take a Risk

One in four older drivers in a study were found to be taking 11 or more medications

By Wendy Haaf

Photo: iStock/DDurrich.

Nearly one in five older drivers are taking potentially inappropriate medications (such as certain antihistamines, painkillers, and sleep aids) that have been shown to increase collision risk by up to 30%, according to a AAA study. The medications in question can cause fatigue, blurred vision, confusion, and lack of coordination.

That’s just one of the concerning findings from a report using data on 2,949 US seniors aged 65 to 79 who underwent a complete medication review on enrolling in a study conducted by the US AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Half of the seniors interviewed were taking seven or more medications, and one-quarter were taking 11 or more—which may in itself boost crash risk, based on other research showing that taking 10 or more drugs is tied to a sixfold increase in falls.

To find out if one of the prescription drugs, over-the-counter products, or supplements you’re taking could put you in harm’s way on the road, speak with your pharmacist or visit