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Study: Sleeping Pills Increase Risks for Car Accidents

Categorized as Auto Accidents

A new study shows that sleeping pills may stay in the blood at higher levels for a longer period of time than previously thought. So much so that it presents a risk to drivers who take to the road the morning after taking Ambien, Restoril or Desyrel.

The results indicate that the levels at which these drugs remain in a body’s system can greatly increase the possibility of an accident, possibly even as much as having had too much to drink.

If you or someone you love is injured in an auto accident caused by an impaired driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the offices of Peterson & Associates, P.C.™to discuss your case.

The study analyzed the medical and driving records of just under 24,000 drivers in Washington who were written new prescriptions for sleeping aids between 2003 and 2008.

Researchers found significant increases in the risk of being involved in an accident during that five-year period when compared to non-users:

  • Those who took Restoril had a 27 percent higher risk for being involved in an auto accident
  • People taking Desyrel nearly doubled their risk for accidents
  • Ambien users were more than twice as likely to be involved in a car accident

The team of researchers found that these risks were equivalent to blood alcohol concentration levels between 0.06 and 0.11. The legal limit is 0.08.

These drugs, which can make you stay sleepy for longer than previously thought, can impair a driver in similar ways to driving drunk, including slow reactions to complex situations.

Drivers who take sleeping pills should be aware of their driving abilities and should not operate a vehicle if they are still feeling drowsy. These actions put not only themselves at risk, but also any passengers in the vehicle with them and everyone else on the roads.

Our experienced team of attorneys knows Missouri’s complex auto laws and can work with you to get you the compensation you deserve if you have been injured in an auto accident.