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Motorists 'ignore drug warnings'

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A new study has found that motorists either ignore or fail to check warnings given on over-the-counter and prescription drugs relating to possible driving impairments.

By ignoring the advice supplied with medication, drivers may increasing the risk of being involved in an accident, resulting in higher car insurance premiums.

Research by road safety charity Brake showed that one in eight motorists do not check whether the drugs they are taking could affect their driving ability.

The charity warned that some road accidents may be caused by people becoming drowsy while driving after taking drugs like Beta Blockers or anti-depressants.

To raise awareness of the dangers of such medications, the Royal College of GPs is urging pharmaceutical firms to use a simple to understand 'traffic light' colour coding system.

Professor Steve Field, of the Royal College of GPs, told the BBC: "I think the public is unaware of the side effects of these common drugs."

© Press Association 2010