A lot of Americans don’t let anything short of a debilitating illness slow them down – and too many can’t afford to. One study found that over a quarter of people in this country go to work when they’re not feeling well. Often, that means driving to and from work.
Even a bad cold can make a person a danger behind the wheel. A study by one insurer tested people suffering from colds along with healthy people on a driving hazard simulator. Those with colds scored more than 10% lower. Other studies have found that the effect of colds on reaction time and concentration can reduce driving skills by up to 50%.
The flu or anything that can disrupt your digestive system can also seriously impair your ability to drive. Even if you feel fine when you start out, the symptoms can sneak up on you. If you’re in the middle of a traffic jam on a busy road or highway, you may not be able to pull over.
Any condition where you’re in pain – from a urinary tract infection (UTI) to a strained back – can also make driving risky. Sitting behind the wheel for a long time can worsen the pain and take your focus of the road.
Of course, one of the primary risks of driving while you’re sick or in pain is the effect of any medications you’re taking. Even common over-the-counter medications can cause drowsiness. Prescription drugs are even more likely to do so. When you combine that with an already stuffed-up head, you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
It is best to stay home if you aren’t feeling well or at least get someone else to drive you where you need to go. Remember, too, that even if you’re healthy, a lot of drivers on the road these days are not feeling their best – especially in the middle of winter. Give yourself some extra space and don’t assume that other drivers see you – even if they should.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a crash caused by another driver, don’t settle for less than the compensation you need and deserve for your expenses and damages. Obtaining sound legal guidance can help.