New research clearly shows the dangers of driving while taking sedative sleeping pills, such as Ambien. According to researchers with the University of Washington, sleeping pills can nearly double the risk of car accidents among new users compared to nonusers. That risk continues for up to a full year among regular users of drugs such as Restoril, Desyrel and Ambien.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been aware of some potential dangers of Ambien for years. In 2013, the FDA lowered the recommended doses of Ambien products to reduce daytime drowsiness caused by the extended-release pills. In other words, these sleeping pills are powerful enough to make a driver sleepy during the day many hours after taking them the night before.
As reported by CBS News, the study found that Restoril posed the lowest risk for crashes when compared to the other popular drugs. In general, however, the overall risk of driving while taking sleeping medication is similar to driving while drunk. Therefore, doctors should start warning patients about the dangers of taking sleeping pills and driving before writing a prescription.
Drivers who are fatigued, or under the influence of sleeping medications, may have trouble staying awake. Others may struggle to focus on the roadway or to keep their eyes open. Fatigued drivers often drift from their lane, run through red lights or let their vehicles turn into oncoming traffic before realizing what has happened.
Therefore, fatigued driving is a form of negligent driving and therefore can be held accountable for the damages they cause. If you are ever involved in a car accident involving a fatigued driver, be sure to notify the authorities. It could prove useful to write down contact information from anyone who witnessed the crash, to take photos of the crash site and to seek out immediate medical attention to document your injuries.
Fatigued and impaired drivers can be held accountable for damages such as medical bills, time away from work, the cost of rehabilitation, pain and suffering and other related damages. A Seattle car accident attorney at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can help ensure that you are fairly and fully compensated for all your losses.