SBRS: Barber School, Aventis team to educate drivers

The Skip Barber Racing Schooland the Dodge/Skip Barber Driving School have joined forces with the maker of Allegra® (fexofenadine HCl) in an educational campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving after taking sedating ...

The Skip Barber Racing Schooland the Dodge/Skip Barber Driving School have joined forces with the maker of Allegra® (fexofenadine HCl) in an educational campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving after taking sedating antihistamines.

The "Read and Heed" campaign is designed to educate consumers, allergy patients and healthcare professionals to read medication labels to learn about the possible impairing effects of medications that may endanger drivers and, subsequently, their passengers. The program also offers advice on how to drive safely when using medications.

"The dangers of drinking and driving are well known. However, Americans should also know that using impairing medications and driving could also be a problem. In fact, more than half of the states in the United States have passed laws addressing driving and the use of certain medications," said Jim Davis, a leading instructor at the Skip Barber Racing School. "When taking medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, everyone must read and heed the warning labels to protect themselves and their passengers. Furthermore, those taking medications should discuss with their physician whether or not the medication is safe to take and drive."

A recent University of Iowa study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a commonly used ingredient in over-the-counter allergy remedies, called diphenhydramine, may cause impairment when driving an automobile. Also, investigators documented that while many people may not feel sleepy or drowsy after taking sedating medications, their driving was still impaired.

Using the highly controlled environment of the Iowa Driving Simulator, the investigators compared the impairing effects of different antihistamines and alcohol. Their findings suggest that second generation antihistamines, such as Allegra® (fexofenadine HCl), are less impairing than alcohol or first-generation antihistamines that contain diphenhydramine.

The Skip Barber Racing School and Aventis Pharmaceuticals, maker of Allegra, will distribute "safe driving" tips to physicians and consumers across the United States, broadcast radio public service announcements and attend events nationwide throughout the year, including the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on Memorial Day Weekend.

"If Americans become more informed about the issues of impaired driving, they can better assess their risks and see a doctor about nonimpairing allergy treatment options, such as Allegra," said Frank Ciriello, vice president of Marketing Therapeutics at Aventis Pharmaceuticals. "Road safety is important to Aventis Pharmaceuticals and we are pleased to be working with the Skip Barber Racing School to help everyone reduce their risk on the road."

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Series Automotive , Other open wheel
Drivers Skip Barber