Is Driving While Sick Considered Negligent?

Injuries Caused By Negligence or Driving While Sick Accident Attorney in Indianapolis, IN

Cold and flu season are in full swing this time of year, which means that there are plenty of drivers on the road suffering from stuffy noses, coughs, high fever, and lack of sleep.

There will be plenty of people driving while fighting common ailments; however, what some may not realize is that driving while sick could be a potential hazard. If someone causes an accident while driving ill, he or she could also be considered negligent.

Studies Find Link Between Sick Driving and Accident Rates

Two recent studies found a correlation between a driver’s health and the likelihood of causing a wreck. In these studies, how a person’s health could impact driving was examined – more specifically, how coldsand flus could be as dangerous as drunken driving, according to the study.

Drivers with heavy colds had slower reaction times than those who had up to four pints of beer.

OTC Medications Could Increase Risk

Over-the-counter cold and cough medications are meant to help people function, but some can hinder a person’s driving ability, which is why these medications come with strict warning labels.

A large majority of cold and flu medications cause drowsiness, and they could become the equivalent of drunken driving. Also, everyone reacts differently to cold and flu medications. Some drivers may have no reactions or only limited reactions, while others may experience severe drowsiness from a single medication.

Despite the fact that these medications –including prescription medications – are legal, a driver could potentially be sued for causing an accident, but also be held criminally liable for a DWI or DUI because of the cold medication.

Symptoms of a Cold Can Hinder Driving

Even when a person is not taking cold or flu medications, he or she could experience weakened driving skills simply because of the symptoms associated with the illness.

For example, some of the common symptoms associated with the cold and flu include:

  • Joint stiffness and pain
  • Fever
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sneezes
  • Runny nose
  • Breathing complications
  • Shakes
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dizziness

When the body is trying to fight off a virus or infection, it works harder to do so; therefore, the body is tired. The key chemicals used to help combat these symptoms and beat the infection can also lead to changes in mood, decreased reaction times, memory problems, movement issues, and other ailments that may impair a person’s safe-driving abilities.

If You’re Sick, Stay Home

If you are sick, it is in your best interest to stay home. Not only could you cause an accident, but you should be resting and avoiding the potential liability of driving while sick. If you must drive, never take cold medications and operate a vehicle. Instead, try to have a friend or family member drive you.

Injured in a Vehicle Accident? Contact an Attorney

Were you injured in a motor vehicle accident? Whether it was caused by a driver taking cold medications or simply by negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with the accident attorneys at Jacobs Law, LLC today by calling our office. You can also request your consultation appointment online.