How Sleeping Pills May Affect Your Driving Skills

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While is it advised that the average adult sleep between 7 and 9 hours every night, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention record that over a third of American adults get less than the recommended amount. For this reason, the Institute of Medicine has recorded that on average, 8.6 million Americans consume prescription sleeping drugs, and nearly 70 million Americans suffer from sleeping disorders. However, it is rare that persons consider the dangers of the prescription sleeping pills they may consume. In fact, a study completed at the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy proved that these sleeping pills were associated with an increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.

THE SLEEPING PILL STUDY

For this study, the University of Washington’s School of Medicine gathered over 400,000 American adults enrolled in a health plan. The initial segment of the study found that roughly 6% of these people were prescribed sleeping aids between the years 2003-2008. From here, the team collected data on three sleep-aid medications: zolpidem, under the title Ambien; trazodone, under the title Oleptro; and temazepam, under the title Restoril. Below are some of the results from the study.

  • People who consumed Restoril- 27% higher risk of being involved in a car accident over the studied 5 years
  • People who consumed Trazodone/Desyrel- 91% higher risk of being involved in a car accident over the studied five years
  • People who consumed Ambien- twice as likely as non-users to have a car accident over the studied five years
  • The risk estimates from the test proved to be equivalent to BAC levels of 0.06-0.11%

For these reasons, the United States Food and Drug Administration told sleeping medication makers to decrease the recommended doses of sleeping pills since many of the side effects continued into mornings following consumption, leaving those drivers, and others who share the road, at risk for detrimental car accidents.

MITCHELL LAW FIRM’S TAKE

Our San Jose personal injury attorneys at Mitchell & Danoff Law Firm understand people’s needs for sleeping-aid medications. However, we also understand the dangers that can be produced due to these drugs. For this reason, we advise that sleep-medication users truly consider the side effects they may be facing after consumption. If you have taken a sleeping pill, make sure that you wait until you are fully alert and awake before driving. Let’s help make the road a safer place for everyone.

If you have been injured by a driver under the influence of sleeping pill, contact our firm today. You don’t deserve to suffer for another person’s actions. Let us help you seek compensation for your injuries.

Contact our San Jose personal injury attorneys today. We dedicate our lives to improving yours.

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