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Drugs Treating Anxiety, Depression Can Contribute to Auto Accidents

After six years of steady declines the number of traffic fatalities increased in the first nine months of 2012. A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 25,580 people died in auto accidents from January through September compared to 23,884 during the same period in 2011.

Consulting a Clayton County attorney after an auto accident enhances a victim's ability to receive a reasonable settlement. If you have been injured in an automobile accident you should discuss your case with an accident attorney at the Law Offices of Shane Smith.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, a driver's risk of being involved in an auto accident increases if he takes common prescription medication to treat depression and anxiety. The study focused on psychotropic drugs that alter brain functioning for treating certain mental disorders. It found that some drug side effects could impair a driver's ability to avoid an auto accident.

The study confirmed earlier reports that linked Valium (diazepam) to increased auto accident risk. It also found that drugs such as Sonata, Ambien, and Lunesta can also increase auto accident risk. 

The researchers analyzed two groups that had been prescribed psychotropic drugs. One group included a sample size over 5,100 who were involved in auto accidents. The second group had a sample size over 31,000 who had not been in an auto accident.

Researchers found that people who were involved in auto accidents were much more likely to have been using psychotropic medications to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia. The researchers found that higher doses are associated with a higher auto accident risk.

If you or someone you know has been hurt in an auto accident, meet with a Clayton County auto accident lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia