Large numbers of drivers are ignoring medical and pharmaceutical warnings, and are getting behind the wheel after taking prescription drugs, Suncorp Insurance says.
Despite warning labels advising them of the dangers, more than one in 10 Queensland drivers (11 per cent) ignore them and drive off, Suncorp research showed.
They are potentially risking their lives and the lives of other road users, Suncorp Insurance corporate affairs manager Mike Sopinski said.
"Before they even think about using their cars, motorists should check with their GP about whether any medications, or combination of medications, being taken could affect their ability to drive," he said.
The number of drivers behind the wheel after ignoring warnings on prescription drugs over the past 12 months was greater than the number of drivers who got behind the wheel after taking illicit drugs, 11 per cent versus eight per cent.
Despite this, 63 per cent of Queensland drivers believe illicit drugs pose a greater danger on our roads than prescription drugs, Mr Sopinski said.
"More drivers are likely to get behind the wheel after using prescription drugs that carry a warning not to drive, than they are after taking illicit drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, speed or ecstasy," he said.
"People need to know that any drug they take has the potential to impair their driving ability, whether it is a prescription or an illicit drug."
Prescription drugs were a factor in two per cent of Queensland road accidents during 2010, the Suncorp research revealed.
"This is a clear reflection of the fact that legal drug users don't even consider themselves drug users at all."
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