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NJ Residents Give Opinions on Drugged Driving [AUDIO]

The vast majority of New Jersey residents think drunken driving is a very serious problem, but far fewer feel the same way about driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

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That information is included in AAA New Jersey‘s annual report to the State Legislature. AAA is also promoting a website that can help anyone who is currently taking prescription medications.

According to AAA’s report, 81 percent of Garden State residents said drunken driving is a “very serious” problem. Just 61 percent said driving under the influence of prescription drugs was “very serious.”

“When we think about driving impaired, most people instantaneously think of drunk driving and then they start to think about driving under the influence of illegal drugs,” said Cathleen Lewis, regional director of public affairs for AAA New Jersey. “This is the beginning of an educational process. It’s definitely cause for concern, though.”

Perhaps surprisingly, the more educated a person is, the less likely that person is to view driving under the influence of prescription drugs as a very serious problem. While 88 percent of those with a high school education or less thought it is a serious problem, just 78 percent of those with post-college graduate education felt that way.

Lewis wants all prescription drug takers to check out a website that may help them better understand the possible dangers of getting behind the wheel after taking such medications.

“It’s absolutely user-friendly,” Lewis said. “You go to www.roadwiserx.com. Right there on that front page it says enter in any medication you have, right here, and the computer will give you any possible interactions that will impact your driving. It’s a great tool that anyone can use — it’s totally confidential.”

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