Millions of people in Michigan and around the country experience allergic reactions when they are exposed to dust, pollen, pet dander or other substances that are not usually harmful to the human body. Allergy symptoms include itching, a runny nose and puffy and watery eyes, and they can make it very difficult to concentrate or sleep. Allergies can also greatly increase the chances of being involved in a car accident, and most of the most popular over-the-counter allergy remedies increase the risks even further.
When researchers looked into this issue in August 2017, almost two-thirds of the Americans they polled said that their allergies negatively impacted their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. One in five of the more than 3,800 respondents said that their symptoms had slowed their reflexes, and 9.5% of them admitted to falling asleep while behind the wheel because of allergy-related fatigue. These figures were even higher among respondents who took medications to deal with their allergies.
This is because most over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications contain antihistamines like diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine that are known to cause drowsiness and anxiety. This is why these drugs usually feature the same kind of label warnings as products that contain alcohol. The problem is that many people do not take fatigue seriously and get behind the wheel after taking these medications despite the warnings.
Health records in car accident lawsuits
When experienced personal injury attorneys believe that their clients may have been injured by an individual who was impaired by a medical condition or under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, they may use subpoenas to obtain their health records. The information found in these records could be used to establish liability in a trial or encourage negligent drivers to settle car accident lawsuits before they go to court.