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3 ways a cold or the flu can make someone an unsafe driver

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2023 | Auto Accidents

Even those with paid time off from their jobs often try to power through when they have minor medical issues. Coming down with the flu or a cold seems more like an inconvenience than a true medical issue.

After all, healthy adults generally recover from such infections in a few days with minimal lingering symptoms. Although there is something to be said about the work ethic that inspires people to show up even when they are under the weather, driving to work while sick endangers everyone that they might encounter on the road.

1. Their condition will diminish their abilities

Fever, fatigue and headaches can all make it harder for a driver to remain fully focused on the road. A sudden coughing or sneezing fit might force someone to close their eyes and leave them unable to monitor their surroundings. In extreme cases, wherein fevers surge unexpectedly, people may start to lose consciousness at the wheel.

Overall, researchers have discovered a 50% drop in driving performance associated with illness. They compare that impact to the equivalent of drinking four double whiskeys and then getting behind the wheel.

2. Over-the-counter remedies impair driving ability

Numerous cold and flu remedies have a known impact on cognitive ability and motor function. The medications that people can easily buy at a gas station or grocery store can affect their ability to drive.

Depending on the type of medication involved, it might make someone drowsy and increase their reaction time, or it might make them jittery and create difficulty focusing on the road. Even when taken as directed, over-the-counter cold and flu medication could be the difference between someone properly responding to traffic conditions and making a mistake that leads to a crash.

3. No one sleeps well when they’re sick

Researchers frequently highlight how dangerous sleep deprivation is for drivers. When someone doesn’t have enough rest, the effects on their driving are surprisingly similar to the impact of alcohol in the human body. Fatigued drivers who have not had a good night’s sleep in several days because of their fever or body aches could make mistakes at the wheel or possibly fall asleep while driving, either of which could ultimately be to blame for a crash.

Recognizing that a person with flu or cold symptoms may have caused your crash because of their illness can help you to successfully obtain rightful compensation after you’ve suffered injuries in a serious collision. Staying off the road when you’re sick can help you to avoid one.