Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Commercial Drivers in Dar es Salaam with Regard to Medicines that Impair Driving
AbstractPurpose: The objective of this study was, first, to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of commercial drivers in Dar es Salaam with regard to medicines that impair driving, and second, to evaluate the adequacy of antihistamine label information. Methods: Drivers were interviewed using a questionnaire after obtaining their informed consent. Labels of medicines containing antihistamines were also evaluated for information regarding driving. Results: Fifty one percent (n=303) of drivers were not aware of medicines that impair driving. Out of those who used medicines impairing driving, 56.1% were not given precaution on the impairing effect of
these medications by healthcare providers. Fifty two percent of the drivers did not know what to do when affected; 29.8% said they would continue driving while 16.2% would suspend driving. Drowsiness, fatigue and blurred vision were mentioned as the main effects that impaired driving. Cough syrups (64.7%), antimalarials (49.5%) and analgesics (28.7%) were mentioned most as medicines affecting driving. Labels on products containing equal concentrations of antihistamines revealed inconsistency in
driving information with some products having cautionary information on driving while others had none. Conclusion: This study showed that most of the drivers interviewed had taken medications which impaired their driving but did not know what to do. These drivers were not well informed about the effects of these medicines on driving. There is need, therefore, to inform the public about medications that impair driving. This may help in reducing road traffic accidents which are on the increase since one
of the causal factors may be the intake of such medicines.
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