Can Being Sick Affect Your Driving Skills?

Media Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Represents Those Injured in Motor Vehicle Accidents.

Driving is a part of your everyday life. It gets you to most places you need to go. Whether you are going to work, shopping, out on the town, or on a vacation, you are likely behind the wheel of your car. Unfortunately, you are not always going to feel your best when you hit the road.

Knowing when to stay away from driving does not compute with every driver, but it should. Everyone should understand that drinking and driving, for instance, is a bad idea, but driving when experiencing sickness is often the norm for most people. It is difficult enough for some people to admit feeling ill, but to miss work or an important event is another thing altogether.

If you have ever been compelled to sneeze, you can begin to understand how driving with a cold or flu could distract you on the road. When you sneeze, your eyes are most likely not on the road ahead, but it goes further than that. A headache, a stomach ache, watery eyes, a runny nose, and anything else that is considered a physical symptom could be dangerous while driving. Anything that removes your concentration from the road or inhibits your ability to react accordingly is considered a distraction.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 3,100 fatalities in 2020 due to distracted driving. Some common distracted driving activities are texting, eating and drinking, and arguing with a passenger. Driving when you are sick is also distracting. Your concentration is limited by your illness, so you are more at risk for a car accident.

There are some illnesses or conditions that many drivers do not consider serious enough to refrain from driving, including the cold and flu.

The cold and flu are illnesses that can cause you enough of a problem to place you at risk. According to research by Young Marmalade, driving while sick is comparable to drunk driving. The company found that the driving skills of ill people dropped roughly 50 percent compared to non-sick drivers.

Cold or flu symptoms should be taken seriously. A headache, drowsiness, or sinus pressure can cause you to significantly lower your ability to safely operate your vehicle.

How Can You Avoid a Car Accident While Sick?

The best way to avoid an accident while you are sick is to stay off the road. If you do get behind the wheel, make sure to check your medication for potential side effects before doing so. If your condition worsens and you notice that your concentration is slipping, safely get off the road.

If you take cold medicine, make sure it is not one that makes you drowsy. Think about every action when driving. For instance, if constant sneezing is taking your eyes off the road, you should pull over to a safe location.

Media Car Accident Lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Represents Those Injured in Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you have been injured by a negligent driver who was sick at the time of your accident, contact our experienced Media car accident lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello. Call us at 610-892-4940 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Philadelphia, Reading, and West Chester.