We already know how devastating the effects of sleep deprivation can be when it comes to driving. We also know that sleeping pills can severely impair your ability when behind the wheel.
Now, a new study has found that when senior drivers in particular are prescribed antidepressants along with sedatives, they are 23% more likely to be involved in a car accident.
This is especially relevant for older readers of this blog since sedatives such as benzodiazepines are often used to treat insomnia.
The study analyzed close to 160,000 car accidents involving seniors in the Canadian province of Ontario between 2000 and 2007. The elevated risk of a car accident was only seen in those taking antidepressants at the same time as benzodiazepines. Interestingly, the increased risk was only apparent for the first three to four months following the introduction of antidepressant medication.
Last updated: February 28, 2012