From:                              Idealease <>

Sent:                               Friday, March 20, 2015 5:04 PM


Subject:                          Idealease Safety Bulletin - Driving Under the Influence - Of Allergy Medicine



Idealease Safety Bulletin






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Driving Under the Influence - Of Allergy Medicine



Spring has arrived in the U.S., bringing along a slew of seasonal allergies. Experts suggest that the 2015 allergy season could be more severe in comparison to previous years.


With allergy season officially starting, you should be aware that some over-the-counter allergy drugs can seriously impair your ability to drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV).


University of Iowa researchers who tested allergy sufferers in a driving stimulator found that the antihistamine diphenhydramine (found in many allergy and cold medications) significantly impaired a driver's ability to follow, steer, and maintain the correct lane. The study showed that diphenhydramine has more significant impact on driving performance that alcohol does.


Researchers said that of the 39 million Americans who suffer from hay fever and allergies only 4.8 million take prescription medications. The remainder go without treatment or take over-the-counter medications. These medications may be effective, but they often come with warnings stating drowsiness may occur and to use caution when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery.


Researchers say even if you don't feel drowsy on allergy medications, you can still be impaired.


When drivers take over the counter medications they often forget that the medication has effects on their cognitive and motor abilities. It doesn't usually cross their minds that they are taking a drug and will be impaired. Even if they read the warning, it's common to assume that it only applies a few certain people and that "do not operate heavy machinery" means farm equipment or tractors, forgetting that CMV's should be included as well. Also, many drugs carry warnings about drowsiness or dizziness that people ignore. However, this is a serious problem that leads to thousands of vehicle crashes each year.

The danger of getting behind the wheel of a CMV when a driver is too tired to drive can be fatal.


Drugs impair our bodies in a variety of ways. They may blur our vision; make us tired or too excited; alter depth perception; make us see or hear things that may not be there; raise or lower blood pressure; react too quickly, too slowly, or not at all. They cause problems with concentrating on the task at hand. These problems can result from taking any type of drug: illegal, prescription or over-the-counter. When our brain function is altered, our muscle and nerve function changes. 


Antihistamines - which block allergic reactions - slow down reaction time and impair coordination. 


Over-the-counter decongestants can cause drowsiness, anxiety, and dizziness. Drowsy driving is responsible for an estimated 100,000 traffic crashes and about 1,500 deaths every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 


Common prescription drugs (including medications to treat allergies, pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, ulcers, depression, anxiety disorders, and insomnia) can cause drowsiness, affect vision and other skills that can be serious hazards on the road. 


Tranquilizers, sedatives, and sleeping pills slow down the central nervous system causing drowsiness and diminished reaction time, and impairing the ability to concentrate.

Over-the-counter drugs such as cold and cough medicines, antihistamines, drugs to prevent nausea or motion sickness, pain relievers, decongestants, and diuretics can cause drowsiness or dizziness that can impair a driver's skills and reflexes. 


Some drugs may make you feel alert and confident in your driving. In reality of the situation may be quite different. Drugs can fool you into believing you are in control of your driving when you are, in fact, impaired.


Here is a partial list of legal drugs that can - in the right amount - impair your ability to drive. 

    • Anti-anxiety medication
    • Amphetamines
    • Barbiturates
    • Stimulants
    • Narcotic pain medications
    • Allergy medicines
    • Blood sugar medicines
    • Antidepressants
    • Tranquilizers
    • Blood pressure medicines
    • Motion sickness medication
    • Ulcer medication
    • Antibiotics
    • Anti-seizure medicines
    • Paregoric
    • Anti-nausea medicine
    • Sedatives
    • Cough syrups
    • Alcohol-containing medicines
    • Caffeine-containing medicines
    • Decongestants

To avoid harming yourself or others, partner with your physician and pharmacist to learn information regarding your medication's side effects, and what drugs are usually safe to combine-especially behind the wheel. Never take more than the prescribed dose, or take anyone else's medicine. Ask for non-sedating forms of your prescriptions if you are a professional driver. Allow your body time to adjust to new medications before you drive. Most importantly, each of us is responsible for knowing the signs and symptoms of being drug impaired before we get behind the wheel of any vehicle.


For more information including side effects of any drug go to



Bill Aims to Give Hair-Testing Equal Footing


U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) today introduced bipartisan legislation that would allow the Department of Transportation "to recognize hair testing as an alternative option to give companies greater flexibility when conducting drug and alcohol testing," according to a news release issued by the Senate.


The Drug Free Commercial Driver Act of 2015 is also cosponsored by Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). Companion legislation was introduced as well in the House by Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) and cosponsored by Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

The rationale for the bill is the same as that of legislation introduced on Capitol Hill back in October 2014: That when it comes to detecting employee drug and alcohol use, urinalysis is regarded as often less effective in detecting substance abuse-  as it provides only a two- to three-day window for detection-- while hair testing provides a 60- to 90-day window. 



International Roadcheck 2015 will take place on June 2-4, 2015



Roadcheck, now in its 28th year, is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during a 72-hour period in early June. Each year, approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors in every jurisdiction across North America perform the truck and bus inspections.


International Roadcheck Checklist for Drivers



March 20, 2014



Follow Idealease online for current industry news

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QCMobile App


QCMobile is a new smartphone app that will allow for more convenient access to currently available online safety performance information for interstate truck and bus companies.  


The app is expected to be a particularly valuable tool for state and federal law enforcement personnel, as well as insurers, brokers, freight-forwarders, and others interested in reviewing the USDOT registra

tion and safety performance information of motor carriers. The app, which requires no log-in, immediately reveals whether the federal operating status of the carrier is authorized while helping to expedite an "inspect/pass" decision by a certified commercial vehicle safety inspector.


The QCMobile app is available for free on both Android and iOS devices. Visit the Apple App Store or Google Play to download QCMobile.



2015 National Work Zone Awareness Week: March 23-27



National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones and construction sites. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones. For more information, check out this link: 


American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA).



Register Now for the 2015 Idealease/NPTC Safety Seminars!



Idealease, its members and the National Private Truck Council NPTC will again be hosting safety seminars in 2015. The one day seminars this year will focus on basic safety and compliance, regulation changes and CSA.  The seminars and will be provided to all Idealease customers, potential customers and NPTC members at no charge.  The seminar provides important information applicable for both the novice and experienced transportation professionals.


To register for an upcoming seminar in 2015 CLICK HERE.



2015 Idealease Safety Seminar Schedule:


March 4

Portland, OR

March 5

Seattle, WA

March 17

Chattanooga, TN

 March 18

Atlanta, GA

March 19

Nashville, TN

March 24

Houston, TX

March 25

Lafayette, LA

March 26

Mobile, AL

March 31

Kansas City, MO

April 1

St. Louis, MO

April 2

Memphis, TN

April 7

Cincinnati, OH

April 8

Columbus, OH

April 9

Elkhart, IN

April 14

Linden, NJ

April 14

Phoenix, AZ

April 15

San Leandro, CA

April 16

Lodi, CA

April 21

Santa Fe Springs, CA

April 21

Harrisburg, PA

April 22

Ventura, CA

April 22

Landover, MD

April 23

Baltimore, MD

April 28

Oklahoma City, OK

April 30

Milwaukee, WI

May 5

Kelowna, BC

May 6

Lexington, KY

May 7

Denver, CO

May 12

Tampa, FL

May 12

Detroit, MI

May 14

Minneapolis, MN

May 20

Altoona, IA

June 25

Santa Rosa, CA

October 13

Toledo, OH

October 14

Grand Rapids, MI

October 20

Las Vegas, NV

October 22

San Martin, CA





The Idealease Safety Bulletin is provided for Idealease affiliates and their customers and is not to be construed as a complete or exhaustive source of compliance or safety information. The Idealease Safety Bulletin is advisory in nature and does not warrant, guarantee, or otherwise certify compliance with laws, regulations, requirements, or guidelines of any local, state, or Federal agency and/or governing body, or industry standards.



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