Do you take sleep medications to help you get restorative sleep? Do you get up the next morning and drive your vehicle?  If so, you need to be aware of new studies linking sleep medications to automobile accidents.

Sleep Medications and Driving

Over eight million people take sleep pills according to the Institute of Medicine. Studies have revealed the danger of using sleep medication and driving the next morning. One study revealed that taking Ambien and Restoril may double your chance of being in an automobile accident.

Recognizing the potential risk posed by taking sleeping medications and driving, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urged drug manufacturers to reduce the recommended dose of their sleep medications. Research has shown that sleep aids remain in the bloodstream in sufficient levels to interfere with driving the morning after taking the drug. For women, the FDA said the recommended dose should be cut in half because women metabolize the drug at a slower rate than men do. The FDA recommends beginning with the lowest possible dose and only increasing the dose if necessary. Unfortunately, reducing the recommended dose of sleep medications has not solved the problem.

A study by the University of Washington’s school of pharmacy found that patients who took one of the three most common sleep medications had a 25 to 300 percent higher risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. The study looked at the records of 400,000 adults who were taking one of the three most common sleep drugs (Ambien, Oleptro, or Restoril). The records revealed adults who took these drugs had an increased risk of being involved in a car accident.  Patients using Restoril had a 27% increase in risk. Taking Oleptro increased the risk of an auto accident by 91% while Ambien almost doubled the risk.

Ambien Presents Greater Risk to Women and Senior Citizens

Another study shows that Ambien significantly increases a woman’s risk of being involved in a car crash. It also shows that seniors 80 years of age and older have a much higher rate of motor vehicle accidents if they are taking Ambien.  The study suggests that doctors try other means of helping patients sleep if at all possible.

Did a Drugged Driver Caused Your Accident?

If you have been injured in an accident involving a drugged driver or a drowsy driver, you have the right to be compensated for your losses under Louisiana’s personal injury laws. The insurance company for the at-fault driver may try to fight your claim; however, and experienced New Orleans car accident attorney can help ensure you receive a fair settlement for your car accident claim.

Contact The Olinde Firm for a free case evaluation. You will not pay an attorney fee unless we win a settlement on our behalf. Call us today at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule your free legal consultation with an experienced NoLA personal injury attorney.