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Is it Negligent to Drive with the Flu?

Written by Berkowitz

drowsy man at the wheel

Personal Injury Attorneys Serving those Injured by Drivers Distracted by Illness

When a person has a bad cold or flu and he or she chooses to operate a vehicle, one may wonder what happens if that person causes an accident. According to a UK-based study, those driving with a severe illness (such as a bad cold or the flu) might as well be driving drunk, reports ABC News.

About the Study

Young Marmalade, a UK car insurance company, collaborated with Cardiff University in Wales to compare the safety of driving with a bad illness to that of drunken driving.

These experts found that the driving skills of severely ill individuals dropped to an estimated 50 percent of what they were at full health. These individuals may experience:

  • Reduced reaction times;
  • Loss of concentration;
  • Changes in mood; and
  • Judgement issues.

A heavy cold can still impact a person’s mood, judgement, and ability to concentrate on the road. The small study serves as a message to those who choose to drive while sick: Consider the consequences.

The entire study was never released to the public from the University or the insurer. Therefore, other experts weighed in and said that they could not substantiate the claims in terms of impact. In other words, the experts could not say how often people who drove sick were impaired, or the level of illness that would make a person drive in the equivalent matter of a drunken driver.

No Official Figures on Ill Driving

There are no official numbers on ill driving, but that is because it is not something tracked by the state or federal government. It is estimated that there are 500 million colds each year, and that one million people drive each day in the United States. Therefore, that means there is high potential that someone with a cold could be driving on the road.

Anyone who is sick or suffering from a high fever knows that they are not at their best. Therefore, anyone who feels that they are too ill to drive, concentrate, or make quick judgment calls should not get behind the wheel. While no one can say definitively if driving ill is as bad as driving drunk, all drivers have a responsibility and duty of care to others on the road with them.

A driver who cannot fulfill that duty should not get behind the wheel. By driving when someone knows that he or she is ill and impaired, liability doors are opened. If an ill driver causes an accident, that driver may be considered negligent, and the victim may receive compensation.

Injured by a Distracted or Sick Driver? You May Have a Case

If a driver could not focus on the road or chose to drive even when he or she knew that it could not be done safely, that driver is committing an act of negligence. Speak with a personal injury attorney today to assess your options for compensation in these types of injury claims.

Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Call us or contact us online to get started.