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Use of Sleep Aid Drugs May Increase Automobile Accident Risk

Posted on in Car Accidents
Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,In a sleep deprived country, the use of sleep aids have become extremely popular. In fact, somewhere around 8.6 million of the 50 to 70 million Americans suffering from a sleep disorder or sleep deprivation regularly take prescription sleeping pills. Unfortunately, a recent study determined that these very same medications could lead to an increased risk of an automobile accident.

Effects of Sleeping Pills Comparable to Driving under the Influence

Conducted by the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy, study authors examined the medical and driving records of more than 400,000 people enrolled in a health plan between 2003 and 2008. Only six percent had received a new prescription during the study time period, and all took one of the three most commonly prescribed sleep aids: zolpidem (Ambien), trazadone (Oleptro or Desyrel), and temazepam (Restoril).

Results showed that, for people taking Restoril, the risk of accident was 27 higher percent of accident over the five year study period; trazadone users had nearly double the risk over that same period of time; and Ambien users were more than twice as likely as non-users to have an accident. Overall, this gave them about the same risks as someone driving with a blood alcohol concentration level between 0.06 percent and 0.11 percent. The legal limit in all states is 0.08 percent.

Possible Reasons behind the Risk

According to the researchers, people stay sleepy long after they the sedatives are supposed to wear off. Judgement is impaired, reaction times are slowed, and the drugs seem to have a cumulative effect that worsens with time before finally improving. Even more concerning is that some may unknowingly wake up in the middle of the night and start driving (a listed side effect for Ambien). Regardless of the reason behind the risk, drives should take precautionary measures if they have recently started sleeping aids.

Involved in an Automobile Accident? Seek Experienced Legal Assistance

Accidents can occur for any number of reasons. If one happens to you or someone you love, you may be due compensation. However, car insurance companies often attempt to minimize the damage or excuse negligent drivers from fault. As such, it is critical that you seek assistance from a skilled attorney to help you with your case.

Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. can provide you with the aggressive legal representation needed to pursue your auto accident claim. Committed and dedicated, we ensure your rights and best interest are protected throughout the entire process. To learn more and schedule your free initial consultation today, contact our experienced Lake County automobile accident attorneys at 847-66-3303 today.

Source:

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/sleeping-pills-raise-car-crash-risk-study-finds-n373891
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