February 1, 2023

Prescription pills can lead to phenomenon known as “sleep driving.” For More Information, Click Here:

This year americans will fill about 60 million prescriptions for sleeping pills including ambien the drug that made headlines last month when kerry kennedy crashed her car on a highway did you know that some sleeping pills can stay in your body for as long as 12 hours so we wondered when is it safe to drive we wanted to see it firsthand at tonight abc’s lisa stark

Takes a groundbreaking test you are looking at the first test of its kind ever done in the us i’m in a driving simulator swerving all over the road nearly hitting a pedestrian barely keeping my eyes open oh i’m not drunk i’m testing another type of impairment driving on the nation’s most popular sleeping pill ambien and his generic version zolpidem there are cases

All over the country those who pop the pill on the way home or try to drive too soon and perhaps the most terrifying of all this new jersey woman had no idea she was even driving she had taken ambien and alcohol gone to bed ended up on the road a frightening case of sleep driving hit something with your car with 60 million annual prescriptions for sleeping pills

In the us there’s increasing concern that’s what brought us to the university of iowa and the nation’s most sophisticated driving simulator researchers watch my every move we can see the speed of your vehicle we have cameras pointed at your eyes and we’re tracking the movement of your pupils big moment take my sleeping pill the drug is designed to act fast very

Fast so it’s been a little over 30 minutes since lisa took the medicine only 30 minutes i’m a little dizzy but i think i can do it i’m wrong i’m awake enough to know something’s not right but i can’t help swerving all over the road so this is very dangerous she’s really stopped blinking an indication my brain thinks i’m asleep and that i don’t need to blink she’s

Really just zoned out she’s sort of in la-la land after a nap the maximum ambien stupor 90 minutes in i try again like telly when i tried to make a turn a turn and then i smash into a big rig whoa she was in a real car this would be the end that was like being in never-never land at four hours two-thirds of the drug gone i think i’m okay though okay but see this

Red light right through it people who are impaired don’t necessarily know how impaired they are so they may think they’re driving fine but they’re not and remember the woman who never realized she was behind the wheel i drove three times impaired but recalled only two and the minute the car was turned off i was out like a light now the pills developer says it stands

Behind the safety of ambien when taken as directed and there is a clear warning on the drug to make sure you get a full seven or eight hours sleep but the pill doesn’t really clear your system entirely for a good 12 hours so diane the label also warns not to drive until you feel fully awake fully awake but what about these cases of people who didn’t even know they

Were driving what’s behind that what the manufacturer says is they’re abusing the drugs that they were drinking they’re using alcohol with it they’re taking too many pills and it can happen with any sleeping pill you have to be very careful but you didn’t remember one time you took the test i they told me i took four drives i didn’t believe it but apparently i did

All right lisa stark awake and alert tonight thanks so much for that

Transcribed from video
Reporter Tries Driving Simulator While on Ambien By ABC News