Is It Okay To Drive When You Are Sick Or Ill?

Just like drinking can affect your ability to drive, so can diseases. Whether it is okay for you to drive depends on your severity of illness. For example, if you have a little cough, it may not affect your driving at all. However, if you have a higher fever, you may feel drowsiness, weakness, nausea, etc., putting your life at risk. 

People who live alone and drive themselves to work or any other place tend to drive even when they are sick. Due to distractions caused by their body pain or fever, they may not reach their destination at all. If you were in an accident involving a sick driver, a personal injury lawyer Georgia might help you. 

Does sickness cause distraction?

Driving while you are sick is usually not recommended, and it can be dangerous no matter how you look at it. If you have a fever, you may feel weak, fatigued, and sleepy, which can cause cognitive distraction. If you have a cold, you may sneeze multiple times during the drive, causing you to take your eyes off the road multiple times. You may even have to blow your nose a couple of times. This does put your life at not only risk but also others on the road. 

Is driving while sick a negligent behavior?

If your sickness is serious enough to cause distractions, it is your responsibility to find someone to drive for you or travel using public transportation. 

A study showed that driving while sick can be as dangerous as drunk driving. In that research, it was found that when a person sneezes, they take their eyes off the road for an average of 3 seconds. If you have a heavy cold and, say, you sneeze 3-4 times during the drive; you could be facing away from the road for more than 10 seconds, which is extremely dangerous. 

Effects of prescribed medications on driving

When you get sick, it is natural that you will seek your doctor for medications for your treatment. Some medications can impact your ability to control a vehicle by causing drowsiness. Many prescription and over-the-counter drugs have similar effects to those of alcohol. For example, they may make you lose focus, feel sleepy, lower your reaction times and alter your decision-making abilities. 

Some risks associated with driving while sick include: 

  • Falling asleep while driving.
  • Difficulty concentrating on the routes.
  • Closing your eyes for a few seconds when you sneeze or cough.
  • Taking your hands off the wheel when you sneeze or cough.

While there are no laws regarding driving while sick, it is often considered negligence. 

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