A report on ABC News this week identified yet one more hazard for drivers – the common cold. According to researchers in Great Britain, a person that gets behind the wheel with a heavy cold is just as dangerous as someone who has just downed four double shots of whiskey.
The research conducted by Young Marmalade, a UK-based car insurance company, and Cardiff University in Wales, found that drivers who were sick drive erratically and have slowed reaction times. In fact, the ABC News Health blog cited data from the study that found that driving skills of sick drivers “dropped by about 50 percent when compared with those who were healthy..
The researchers identified lack of sleep from cold symptoms as the primary culprit affecting sick drivers, and not medication. However, taking cold medication can cause drowsiness and may further impact the dangers of driving with a cold.
A quick calculation by ABC estimated about 1 million Americans will be driving with a cold on any given day.
What should you do if you have a cold?
Before driving you should ask yourself if you can drive safely feeling as ill as you do. If you are determined to drive, you should focus on the task at hand and follow basic safe driving skills. The ABC report suggests that sick drivers should be more attentive, keep both hands on the wheel, buckle up and allow enough distance between themselvesand other cars.
Our car accident attorneys previously reported that South Carolina drivers are among the worst in the country. We believe the best way to help keep South Carolina residents out of harm’s way from unsafe drivers is by continually raising the awareness of distracted driving behaviors. Anytime you get behind the wheel of your car, please stay focused and drive defensively to help arrive safely at your destination.