Driving with Cold and Flu as Dangerous as Drunken-Driving

As if the interdiction “Don't drink and drive” wasn't restrictive enough, it seems that we will soon have to face another one. Apparently, driving with a bad cold or flu seems to be as dangerous as drunken driving, a study commissioned by Lloyds TSB Insurance, UK suggests. Therefore, “Don't sneeze and drive” might be the next level of driving interdictions in the future.

As a matter of fact, the issue became alarming as the study revealed that more than 125, 000 crashes were caused last year by motorists with colds and flu. According to the motor insurance provider, one in 10 road accidents in 2008 can be attributed to drivers with cold and flu.

The research for Lloyds TSB Insurance included 102 drivers who were put in a variety of situations including PMT, stress and headaches, through an approved hazard simulator test.  Those with headaches, stress or PMT achieved a score 4 per cent below normal for reaction times and alertness, while those drivers who had a cold or a flu scored 11 per cent lower than healthy drivers.

Consequently, Lloyds TSB Insurance is now warning drivers of the dangers of being unwell at the wheel, particularly when combined with medication, fatigue or a small amount of alcohol.  The campaign has been started because it seems that public awareness of the problem is low. In fact, 12 million (38 percent) admitted to have driven when they had a cold or flu. More importantly, almost half of these drivers do not think their illness is affecting their driving ability.

“Safe driving requires concentration and good reactions, both of which are significantly reduced, even by just a mild cold. I would advise drivers suffering from these conditions to avoid getting behind the wheel until they are better,” Dr Dawn Harper, who is supporting the campaign, said.

Well, it seems the sentence of the research is more than obvious. If you have a bad cold or flu and refuse to stay in bed, albeit this would be the wisest thing to do in this condition, take a cab or use public transportation.
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