While thinking about negligent driving, focus is often put on two issues: drunk driving and distracted driving. There is a reason for this. These are prominent and extremely dangerous behaviors that should be addressed whenever possible.

However, with all the attention often paid to these two behaviors, other dangerous behaviors can remain in the background. This can lead to difficulties in making individuals aware of other potentially dangerous driving behaviors. To this end, we bring up a new study about the use of sleeping pills and driving.

Now, it’s obvious that popping a sleeping pill and then immediately getting behind the wheel of a car is a dangerous act. However, this study sheds far more light on the topic, making sleeping pills seem far more horrifying.

According to the study, sleeping pills continue to affect a person, even after their affects are supposed to have worn off. In other words, the morning after you use a sleeping pill, you are likely to still be under the effects of the sleeping pill, thus reducing your driving abilities and increasing your chances of being involved in an accident. More specifically, the study says that people who use the top three sleeping pill brands are anywhere from 25 percent to three times more likely to be in an accident.

Again, this may not be that surprising, but it is an issue that leads to a broader discussion. What about drivers who are just tired and fatigued because they didn’t sleep well the night before? What about drivers who have not had an adequate meal recently? What about other medical conditions that can afflict a driver? Drivers can cause a crash even though they aren’t drinking or distracted.

Source: NBC News, “Sleeping Pill Use Raises Car Crash Risk, Study Finds,” Maggie Fox, June 11, 2015

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