Did you know that drowsy driving is quickly becoming an epidemic? With over 72,000 collisions each year, the risks of driving under the influence of medications are severe. So, what can you do to keep yourself needing a DUI attorney? (Yes, medication can lead to a DUI.)

The easiest way is to know which of your medications can cause drowsiness, but it isn’t always that simple. Over-the-counter medications for the cold and flu are often the culprit. Here are some ingredients and name-brand medicines to keep an eye out for.


Diphenhydramine, or Benadryl, is common cause for accidents. This allergy medication can cause severe drowsiness while fighting off the symptoms of allergies, making it a dangerous drug for drivers. The best thing you can do is look for the non-drowsy variety for daytime use. 


ChlorTimetron is the brand name for Chlorphenamine, another allergy medication. This one comes with a sedative side effect while fighting off hives, sneezing, and general sniffles. The sedative is used to stop the part of the brain that produces hives, but can also impact your ability to stay alert while driving. You could try switching to a topical cream in order to avoid this one. 

Robitussin and Mucinex: DM Variety

If you see DM after a cold or congestion medicine, it means it contains Dextromethorphan. This medication is an incredible cough suppressant, but can induce sleep within a matter of minutes. Even with all of the simulation of the day (sunlight, car horns, etc.), you might still find yourself falling asleep behind the wheel. Stick with nighttime use for DM medications. 


Nyquil contains Doxylamine, which happens to be an antihistamine. Like Chlorphenamine, it creates a sedative effect that helps those with the cold or flu fall asleep. Nyquil combines Doxylamine with Dextromethorpan, making it a powerful sleep agent recommended for nighttime use only. 


Known for helping with diarrhea, Imodium is based off of Loperamide. While it can help your digestive tract, it also causes drowsiness in most people. If you happen to be one of them, then make sure you take this medication on a day when you don’t expect to drive. 

Drowsy Driving Indicators

The medications above are just some of the major players in drowsy driving accidents. With so many on the market, you also need to know what indicators to look for no matter what medicine you choose to take. Before you cause an accident and need a skilled attorney, like the ones at Bowling Law, keep the following indicators in mind:

  • Blurred vision
  • Inability to visually focus on other cars
  • Your mind or thoughts begin to drift
  • Hitting the rumble strips
  • Crossing the center line
  • Inability to pay attention
  • Forgetting large portions of your drive

If you experience one or any of these signs, you’re at risk of causing an accident. It’s best to pull over and call for help. You can keep this from happening by speaking with your pharmacist about which substances cause drowsiness and what medications might interact with one another.