You already know there's a serious risk during your morning commute, just due to the sheer amount of drivers on the road at the same time. However, that risk could go up dramatically if any of those other drivers have been using sleeping pills.

Car Accident Odds

One study found that most people who took sleeping pills had a far higher likelihood of crashing. Even when the lowest risk increase was seen, they were still about 25 percent more likely to crash. In the worst cases, their accident odds went up by nearly 300 percent -- three times the odds faced by other drivers.

Lasting Effects

Frighteningly, the study also noted that the effects could last even longer than they were supposed to. For instance, a person may take a sleeping pill at 10 p.m., knowing it's supposed to last for eight hours. When that person gets up at 6 a.m. for that drive to work, he or she should theoretically be fine, but the study still saw increased accident odds. This suggests that many drivers may feel that they are being safe when they're actually not.

Compared to Alcohol

Looking at the increased risk estimates, researchers noted that it was the same as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that measured anywhere from 0.06 to 0.11. The legal limit is 0.08, so the risk, at its worst, could be as bad as legally driving drunk on the way to work.

Your Costs

You have to make that morning commute. It's unavoidable, and so is the risk. As such, it's important to know what legal options you have if you are involved in a car accident with a driver who had been using sleeping pills. You may want to think about compensation for your lost wages, pain and suffering, medical bills and the like.

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