March 8, 2006
Drunk driving’s an acknowledged problem on the country’s highways, and drugged driving is a growing concern that TheCarConnection.com has reported on in the past year. Now, the New York Times says one drug in particular, the sleeping pill Ambien, is being cited as a factor in an increasing number of accidents. “Ambien drivers,” the Times say, sometimes have no memory of driving under the influence of the drug, and are distinct from other drugged drivers in that the accidents include an element of oblivion, from driving into light poles to failing to recognize the presence of police officers after the accident. Wisconsin, the paper says, linked Ambien to 187 arrested drivers in the five years from 1999 to 2004; Washington State has seen a rise in Ambien-linked arrests in the past year. The maker of the drug, Sanofi-Aventis, told the paper it notifies the FDA when reports of sleepwalking are taken.
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