Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers: Opioid Painkillers and Crash Risk in Seniors

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Caution seniors who are taking prescribed opioid painkillers to think twice before getting behind the wheel. According to a study conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, senior patients who drive a car shortly after taking a narcotic pain reliever are twice as likely to get into a serious car accident than seniors who used over-the-counter pain medication. In addition, according to researchers, new users were even more likely to be involved in a wreck than those who had been taking opioid painkillers for several months.

Researchers studied 4,445 drivers between the ages of 50 and 80 who had been in a car accident between 2005 and 2009 that required medical care for an injury. The study also looked at 17,000 senior drivers who were not involved in a car crash. Researchers compared new users –those who were prescribed an opioid within one month of the crash – to regular users. They found the following results:

  • New opioid users were at a 100 percent higher risk of being involved in a single vehicle crash
  • Regular opioid users were at a 60 to 70 percent higher risk of being in a single vehicle crash

Users Need to Be Aware of Side Effects

Paul Atchley studies the human brain, vision, and attention to driving at the University of Kansas. He believes that the study should urge doctors to do a better job of explaining the side effects and risks that come with taking a narcotic medication. Older adults tend to take more medications in general than younger adults. When combined with the fact that the risk of being involved in a car accident increases with age, taking opioids can have dire consequences when an older adult gets behind the wheel.

Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Victims Obtain Maximum Compensation 

If you have been injured in a car accident and you suspect the other driver was under the influence of opioids, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will not stop fighting on your behalf until we secure the optimal financial compensation that you deserve. For a free case review, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent injured accident victims and their families throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.