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There is medication available to treat both high and low blood pressure. Drivers who are aware of their abnormal blood pressure and who are using prescription medication should always be alert to the side effects of medication.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, certain drugs can interfere with factors that are essential for safe driving, such as:

• Coordination – needed for steering, braking, accelerating, and manipulating the vehicle;

• Reaction time – needed to respond in time and appropriately deal with certain situations;

• Judgment – helps with risk assessment, avoidance of hazards, and emergency decision-making;

• Tracking – helps to stay in the lane and maintain the correct distance from other cars and obstacles;

• Attention – ability to handle the high demand for information-processing;

• Perception – needed for glare resistance, dark and light adaptation, and dynamic visual acuity.

The reactions caused by certain types of medication may include nausea, drowsiness, blurred vision, inability to think clearly, reduced coordination and diminished motor or judgment skills and can therefore impair your ability to drive. These medications include over-the-counter medication as well as scheduled medication, prescribed by the doctor.

Please avoid driving if you have any impairment caused by drugs.

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