Drivers who are coughing and sneezing, inadvertently create an accident risk. Extra care should be taken when driving your vehicle if you are not feeling very well because getting into an accident, could see you receiving a fine. It seems many drivers do not feel that there is any need for concern if they have a headache, cold or cough when they get behind the wheel. However, it has been shown that this can significantly impact your concentration and driving ability.
Research has been carried out by Scrap Car Comparison, and they have reported that as many as 1/5 of motorists are happy to drive whilst feeling unwell. The fine if caught is £2500, and the risk of getting into an accident significantly increases. Sneezing actually causes your eyes to temporarily close, and this can be fatal if you are travelling at speed. The problems caused would be cited by the police as driving without due care and attention. Under the rules of the law, this can see you issued with a fine totalling £2500, and your driving license can receive anything from 3 to 9 penalty points. For new drivers, this could mean having to reset your test before you can return to the road.
Other health concerns that drivers normally are happy to drive with, but that could fall into the same category of punishment, include runny noses and tiredness. The risk of having an accident while trying to wipe your nose and therefore driving with one hand or lapsing your concentration, because you are too tired to focus are all very possible and real dangers. Commenting on the findings, the managing director of Scrap Car Comparison, Dan Gick, said, “Driving while feeling ill can put you at increased risk of having an accident and landing yourself in trouble with the law, so the best advice is to stay at home if you feel any of these symptoms, or if you are taking any medication that could impact your driving ability. However, we know that it's not always that easy, especially if symptoms start whilst you're already driving. If you start feeling unwell while driving, try to pull over at the earliest possible point when safe to do so. This can be a service station if you're on a motorway, safely on the side of the road, or somewhere such as a car park. Once you've parked safely, take some time away from driving, get some fresh air and give yourself time to relax and reassess how you’re feeling”
Medications Can Also be Problematic
It is not just medical conditions themselves that can cause drivers to become a higher accident risk, but also some of the medication is commonly taken for minor conditions like colds and allergies. Antihistamines, for example, are well known to cause drowsiness but are taken by a large percentage of the driving population annually for seasonal allergies. The advice is to ensure that you are reading the potential effects of the medication on the labels before deciding whether you can safely get behind the wheel or not. The same applies to many leading cold and flu medication brands.