According to WebMD between a third and half of all Americans have insomnia and complain of poor sleep. In 2011, Americans filled some 60 million prescriptions for sleeping pills last year, up from 47 million in 2006, according to IMS Health, a health care services company.
Most sleeping pills are “sedative hypnotics.” That’s a specific class of drugs used to induce and/or maintain sleep. Sedative hypnotics include benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and various hypnotics.
Experts used to just test how safety a sleep aid drug could put you to sleep. Now they are testing to see how safety its users wake up. New evidence suggests that common prescription sleep aids like Ambien; Butisol sodium; Carbrital; Dalmane; Doral; Halcion; Lunesta; Placidyl; Prosom; Restoril; Rozerem; Seconal; and Sonata can persist well into the next day. This causes concern as to ones driving abilities the next morning. Are they impaired drivers driving under the influence of a prescription medication?
A 2007 National Roadside Survey of alcohol and drug use by drivers found that nearly 5 percent of daytime drivers tested positive for prescription or over-the-counter medications. Many drivers who took a sleeping pill reported the next day of being sleepy, drowsy and experienced memory problems.
Drowsy drivers can have trouble perceiving how quickly they are coming up on another vehicle, and this is a leading cause of crashes. A AAA Foundation study found the impact of having drowsy drivers on the road is considerable. Drowsy drivers are involved in an estimated 12.5% of fatal auto crashes, as most drivers drift out of their lanes or off the road. Drivers themselves are often crash victims who die in single-car crashes.
Researches have started using driving simulators to study and help improve road safety. Until there are new safety warnings and road safety enhancements, it is up to consumers to read the safety warning labels work with your doctors to find the right dosage and if you even feel slightly drowsy, dizzy, disoriented, etc., do not drive.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death, due to the negligence of a driver under the influence of sleeping pills, you have the right to pursue a civil law suit. Contact the personal injury and auto accident attorneys of Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing today.