Senior drivers who take sleeping pills at higher risk for crashes

Senior drivers who take sleeping pills are at higher risk for vehicle crashes. The sleeping medication is known as zolpidem – commonly sold as Ambien.

The researchers of the study evaluated five years worth of driving records of 2,000 Alabama residents over the age of 70. The researchers compared residents who took sleeping pills to those who did not. The researchers found that women who took Ambien had a 61 percent higher probability of a crash over the course of five years compared to women who did not.

Senior study author Gerald McGwin said, “The risk was over twofold [higher] for all drivers over 80, [but] we haven’t demonstrated a cause and effect.”