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It is illegal, not to mention dangerous, to drive while impaired by prescription medication.Elise Amendola/The Associated Press

He’s lucky to be alive. That’s about all anyone can agree on regarding the car crash golf superstar Tiger Woods was in on February 23. A 22-page report on the collision, obtained by USA Today, showed that the golfer was driving 84 mph in a 45-mph zone.

USA Today also disclosed that the report showed that, shortly after the crash, Woods’s blood pressure also was “too low to administer any type of pain medication.” And it stated that “An empty pharmaceutical bottle was found in a backpack at the scene of the crash with no label or indication of what was inside it.”

There is no evidence or proof that Tiger Woods, 45, was under the influence. Investigators found that no alcohol or drugs were involved.

That said, that empty bottle may be a good reminder right now that driving while on prescription medication – especially one that warns those taking it not to drive – is also a dangerous form of impairment.

It doesn’t get the press or stigma of drunk driving or distracted driving, but operating a motor vehicle while on opioid pain relievers and benzodiazepines (which are prescribed for anxiety or sleep disorders) can destroy your ability to drive safely. Just because a doctor prescribed them doesn’t make them harmless. You wouldn’t down a bunch of Xanax and juggle chainsaws, so don’t take a bunch and drive your car. Unlike like booze, which people know gets them hammered, you can take these pharmaceuticals and get airborne without even noticing.

You can fall asleep at the wheel.

Woods was driving in a straight line, according to his vehicle’s recorded crash sequence, when he tried to negotiate an “S-curve” – a curve to the left or right followed immediately by a curve in the opposite direction. He had been driving on Hawthorne Boulevard, a stretch of road known among local residents, according to TV station KTLA, as a hot spot for crashes. He suffered serious injuries to both his legs and required surgery. After the accident, Woods told a police officer he had no memory of the crash and that he thought he was in the State of Florida.

Investigators determined his crash was “purely an accident” and no alcohol or drugs were involved.

Jonathan Cherney, a forensic crash reconstruction expert, analyzed the scene of the crash on February 24. He told USA Today that it looked “like a classic case of falling asleep behind the wheel, because the road curves and his vehicle goes straight.” The former Southern California police detective said, “The data here supports that he was not conscious … I’m seeing the brakes off the entire time. I don’t see any steering at all (until late in the recorded crash sequence). That’s not indicative of emergency steering at all. This is not consistent with somebody who’s awake behind the wheel.”

So, let’s all be grateful that Tiger Woods is alive. Let’s be grateful that no one else was hurt in the collision. At the speed he was going, there would almost certainly have been fatalities.

Let’s all pay attention to the writing on our pharmaceutical bottles. If the label says don’t drive or operate heavy machinery, don’t drive or operate heavy machinery. Avoid causing the accident. Remember, you’re already taking medicine; do you really want to put yourself in a situation where you might be needing a whole lot more?

There’s no such thing as a little impairment.

It’s not what impairs you that counts – be it alcohol, sleeping pills or cocaine – it’s that you’re impaired at all.

Taking prescription pills? Take a SEAT – on the couch – not in the driver’s SEAT.

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