Lorazepam impairs highway driving performance more than heavy alcohol consumption.
Accident Analysis & Prevention. 2013-11-01; 60: 31-34
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1. Accid Anal Prev. 2013 Nov;60:31-4. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.08.004. Epub 2013 Aug
Lorazepam impairs highway driving performance more than heavy alcohol
Daurat A(1), Sagaspe P, Moták L, Taillard J, Bayssac L, Huet N, Authié C, Mestre
D, Philip P.
(1)UMR 5263 CNRS – EPHE – Toulouse II University, “CLLE-LTC” Laboratory,
Toulouse, France. Electronic address: .
While research indicates that benzodiazepine (BZD)-like drugs impair driving
performance, it remains unclear (i) how far BZDs affect lane-keeping performance,
compared with alcohol and (ii) to what extent this impact can realistically be
measured in a simulated environment. To clarify these issues, 16 healthy male
drivers who had never previously taken BZDs underwent a randomized, crossover,
double-blind, placebo-controlled driving paradigm (with the BZD lorazepam) in
both real-world and simulated settings. Two lane-keeping variables, namely
inappropriate line crossings (ILCs) and standard deviation of lateral position
(SDLP), were recorded during the driving sessions. Analyses revealed that (i) a
single lorazepam dose (2 mg given by mouth) caused higher SDLP increases than a
blood alcohol concentration of above 0.05%, and that (ii) this BZD effect was
amplified in the simulated driving setting, mainly for ILCs. As a consequence, we
recommend that physicians be made more aware of BZD-related risks and that
researchers make a clear distinction between the effects of BZD intake per se and
the impact of simulated driving settings.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 24007754 [Indexed for MEDLINE]