Driving and Ambien – a fatal mix of medicine and machinery

This news report from WKYC highlights the disastrous, and potentially fatal effects sleeping pills like Ambien can have on your driving. Although Zolpidem (the generic form of the drug) has few noticeable side effects, concern is growing about the possible ‘complex sleep related behaviours” caused by the pill including sleep driving, nocturnal eating and sleep walking.

Ambien was found in the bloodstream of Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late JFK, earlier this year, when she crashed into a moving truck and was discovered slumped at the wheel by the highway patrol. She had no recollection of the event. And in May a woman from Texas ran over a mother and her two children after mixing alcohol and Ambien. Again, the driver had no memory of the events.

In the WKYC video, reporter Monica Robins, who has never taken the sleeping pill before, agrees to become a test subject at Ohio University’s Driving Simulation Lab. The effects are noticeable after just a few minutes.

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