A driver is required to be alert at all times when behind the wheels of a car. Any substance that alters this crucial state of mind can prove extremely fatal. Statistics shows that about 80 percent of road accidents are caused by influence of substance abuse. Many of these substances are prohibited by law but some, surprisingly are legal. Starting with illegal substances to legal ones, we will be looking at some of these substances and how they affect the mind and why it’s very important for a driver to avoid them.


Almost all the drugs in this group are derived from morphine which have effects including pain relief, drowsiness, euphoria, confusion, and respiratory depression (slowed breathing that keeps the lungs from expanding fully and providing enough oxygen to the body). These drugs are highly controlled in many countries around the world. In some special cases these drugs are prescribed by doctors to patients but abuse is very rampant. These drugs are illegal and very dangerous, it hinders alertness and must be avoided by all drivers.

Drugs that fall within this category are:

  • Codeine (including drugs that contains Codeine)
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Tramadol
  • Methadone
  • Heroin


Cannabis also popularly known as Marijuana is a plant used for it’s health benefits but abused for it’s euphoric effects. Illegal in many countries and legal in some but regulated, Cannabis is often used for recreational purposes. When abused, some users experience dizziness and lack of concentration, this is not good when driving.


A legal drug in most countries around the world and commonly taken as a beverage, Alcohol is the most abused substance of all. Alcohol slows down the chemicals and pathways that your brain cells use to send messages. This alters your mood, slows your reflexes, and throws off your balance. It makes you not to think straight or process information quickly. Although believed to have it’s health benefits but when abused can have devastating effects. It’s always advised when under it’s influence not to drive.


Caffeine is a drug which is present in coffee, tea, energy drinks and other forms of beverages and foods. It’s legal and popular everywhere and is known to boost energy levels. However they can also have opposite effect by leading to rebound fatigue after the caffeine leaves your system. In some individuals this effect can be extreme. So if you can’t handle after effects of Caffeine, don’t drive.