If you or someone you love, is suffering from an illness, perhaps even from the coronavirus, is it safe to drive to the hospital alone?
All across the United States, it’s not uncommon for people to become sick or ill – now more than ever. Unfortunately, some people who do abruptly find themselves in this position may also find themselves alone, whether that be because they live alone, their spouse is at work, or their family lives in a different part of the country. When put into this position, people may assume that the best thing to do is take themselves to either the hospital or their primary care physician. However, getting behind the wheel when you’re sick may actually be a lot worse for everyone than you think!
Why is Driving While Sick Dangerous?
In 2015, Cardiff University in Wales and Young Marmalade, a UK-based insurance company had published a study using simulations to find that driving with a cold or with the flu is quite similar to driving while heavily intoxicated. Researchers noted that the driving skills of individuals who were sick dropped by an estimated 50% when compared to those who were deemed to be healthy.
Among the areas that were reduced were their reaction time and their ability to concentrate on the road in front of them. Nigel Lacy, the Director of Marketing for Young Marmalade was quoted as saying that “a heavy cold can impair a driver’s mood, concentration, and judgment” – we certainly don’t disagree, and neither did Dr. Christopher Ohl, of Wake Forest University School of Medicine, who said that he wasn’t at all surprised by this information, citing that anyone who has experienced a fever or flu-like symptoms is most certainly aware that they’re not at their best either physically or mentally.
A single sneeze can last up to three seconds – that’s enough time for a driver going 70 MPH to be temporarily blinded for over 305 feet.
If Possible, Always Find Another Way!
We here at Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban certainly understand the need and desire to seek out medical attention if you’re not feeling well – but we urge you, if it’s at all possible, please consider finding an alternative way of getting there other than driving yourself. You can ask a neighbor, a friend, a colleague, use Uber, Lyft, get a taxi – it’s never smart to put yourself in a dangerous position, sick or not.
Furthermore, in a time like this, where COVID-19 has the nation in a panic, authorities all across the United States are asking people that either have symptoms or who think they may be symptomatic to please resist the urge to show up at either their local hospital or their primary care physicians office. Instead, if unwell, it’s better to call your physician or any healthcare professional first to speak about your situation – this way, the proper treatment can be given at the best time for all parties involved.
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