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Are sleeping aids making New York City roads less safe?

July 16, 2012 Truck Accidents

On behalf of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP

Motor vehicle accidents are usually preventable. When people in New York City and elsewhere are distracted, inattentive or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, tragedies can occur.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s former wife, Kerry Kennedy, was recently involved in a truck accident along a New York highway. The accident happened on July 13 in Westchester County. According to reports, police received a call around 8 a.m. about a car driving erratically. Kennedy apparently hit a tractor-trailer before fleeing the scene. Authorities later found her in her vehicle.

Kennedy was taken into police custody and charged with driving while impaired. She told police that she may have taken the sleeping pill Ambien at some point Friday morning. Tests administered after the accident showed that Kennedy had no drugs or alcohol in her system.

Millions of Americans, and likely many New Yorkers, are prescribed sleeping aids. Although the drugs may be helping people sleep at night, they may be increasing the risk of accidents occurring if people do not take them at appropriate times.

Ambien, and other drugs like it, are intended to help people sleep. However, some people have reported performing activities while on the drug without even knowing it. For instance, one woman discovered that she was cooking in her sleep. Others have reported driving while they are sleeping.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the recent crash. However, it could have turned out much differently. People can be left with severe injuries when they are involved in an accident. It is for that reason why it is so important for drivers to do all that they can to keep the roads safe.

Source: ABC News, “Kerry Kennedy Crash Raises Questions About Ambien Use,” Alyssa Newcomb, July 15, 2012