Drivers snooze on flu drugs
TOO many drivers are ignoring warnings and driving under the influence of drugs — some for colds and flu — that can endanger other road users.
Tanya Smyth, of the Queensland University of Technology, says the problem could be that Australian drug warnings are not graphic enough.
‘‘It’s a widespread issue because there are medications, such as cold and flu formulas, that can affect drivers,’’ she says. ‘‘Other research has identified nine major pharmaceutical drug groups that can impair driving — such as analgesics, beta blockers and anti-histamines.
‘‘Medications used in combinations or with alcohol can increase the impairing effects.’’
Smyth, a researcher with the university’s centre for accident research and road safety, says Australia should consider warnings such as those used in France — graphic symbols, bright colours and bigger text.
Smyth surveyed 3425 drivers and found their risk perception was greater with French labels than Australian labels.