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Auto insurance and accident rates could be affected by medication

Posted On Wed, August 12, 2009

A recent study is warning drivers that they could be at risk for accidents and in turn, higher auto insurance premiums if they fail to take their medications into account while driving.

This week, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released statistics which found that 78 percent of drivers over the age of 55 use at least one medication, but only 28 percent of that population reported that they were aware of the potential impact their prescriptions could have on their driving skills.

A relatively small 18 percent in the survey said that they had received warnings from a healthcare professional about medications such as ACE inhibitors and sedatives. The foundation also noted that drivers are unlikely to get additional warnings the more medications they use.

In another finding, the foundation indicated that as drivers become older, they are less likely to be aware of the risks their medications could pose. A total of 69 percent in the survey were said to use at least one medication that could potentially undermine their driving skills.

States have been cracking down recently on distracted driving and driving under the influence in recent months in a bid to boost safety and maintain auto insurance rates, but this is one safety issue that has received relatively little attention so far.

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