Illnesses tend to increase in the winter months, and while this can pose a public health crisis, it can also be a problem for drivers on the road. It is very common for people to still attempt to drive while they are sick. Unfortunately, the effects of certain illnesses and medications used to treat them can impair your driving, putting you at risk of causing an accident. Even if you are not sick, your risk of being hit and injured by another driver who is sick increases this time of year.
If you are involved in a car accident, whether you were driving while sick or not, it is advisable to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. If you were sick and an accident occurred, you could be held liable.
However, there could also be other factors that contributed to the accident, so it’s always best to consult with an attorney before admitting fault. If you were struck by a driver who was sick, an attorney can help you file a claim against the guilty party so you can receive compensation to help cover damages, such as medical expenses for injuries and pain and suffering.
How Driving While Sick Can Lead to An Accident
Many people liken sick driving to trying to operate a vehicle while drunk or hungover. In other cases, it can feel like trying to drive after a significant lack of sleep. Either way, the point is that driving while sick means you are not operating a vehicle while at your best, and it could put you at high risk of causing an accident.
Factors that can affect your ability to drive while sick include:
Reduced Reaction Times
When you drive while sick, you will likely have slower reaction times. This is because your body is weaker and fatigued from trying to fight off illness. When your reaction times are delayed, it can impair your driving and your ability to respond to certain things in a timely and effective manner. For example, you might not hit your brakes in time, which can cause you to rear-end another driver.
Generally, your overall mental state and level of awareness are affected when you are sick. When your body is fatigued, and you are not as alert as you usually are, you can easily become confused or distracted while driving. Severe drowsiness and fatigue due to illness can even lead to loss of consciousness. All of these things can affect your ability to drive and remain aware of the road and your surroundings.
Effects of Medications
Various medications that are used to treat illnesses can have side effects that can impair your ability to drive. Cold medicine, for example, can cause drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and even restlessness and anxiety. These are all symptoms that affect your ability to remain alert while driving.
Negligence and Driving While Sick
Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicle with care so as not to harm others. If they breach their duty of care, they can be found to have acted negligently and could be held accountable for causing the accident. If you drive while sick, this could be seen as a negligent action.
If you actively choose to drive while you are sick, knowing that your ability to safely operate your vehicle may be impaired, you are willfully putting yourself and others at risk. If you then cause an accident, any injured victims may be eligible to file a claim against you for compensation. Before getting behind the wheel while sick, it is always best to assess your mental and physical state. If you have any doubts, you should avoid driving.
Consult an Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are injured by a sick driver, proving fault can be a challenge and require the help of an attorney. Evidence will need to be provided to show that the at-fault driver caused the accident as a result of their illness. An experienced attorney can work with you to advocate for your rights and help you get the compensation you deserve.
At Crossen Law Firm, we have years of experience handling various car accident cases, including those involving sick drivers. If you were hit by a sick driver or if you were driving while sick yourself, our team can offer you guidance to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
To schedule a free consultation with our reliable team, dial (317) 401-8626 today. Or contact us online.