Is your nose distracting you from driving safely?

Is your nose distracting you from driving safely?

We all know that it is important to pay attention to the road while driving. This is why many states have enacted laws against cellphone use and texting while driving. We also know that fatigued driving and drunk driving are very dangerous habits which make serious car accidents more likely. What may many surprise drivers is that driving while sick can be just as dangerous as distracted or drunk driving.

A new report funded by two insurance companies indicates that sick driving is extremely dangerous. Sick drivers were more likely to brake suddenly, failed to easily negotiate curves, and displayed an overall diminished ability to react to driving conditions. This is especially worrisome because area roads are known to be very slick during flu season.

The study found that ill drivers drove like individuals who had the equivalent of four double-shots of whiskey. This may be a sobering fact for many workers who believe that they can “tough a cold out” and commute safely to the office.

One police trooper said that he has noticed that sick drivers are more dangerous than other drivers. The trooper said that sickness distracts drivers from the important task of driving.

“You’re more focused on your cold than you are on your driving,” the trooper said. “You should be evaluating yourself. Can I drive safely while I’m feeling as ill as I am?”

The trooper added that drivers who take strong cold medicines should also avoid driving. Medicine can cause drivers to become drowsy and makes a serious car accident more likely.

Source: Komo News, “Study: Driving while sick as bad as drunk driving,” Mark Miller, Jan. 5, 2012