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Sick drivers may cause as many car accidents as drunk drivers

In our last post we discussed the serious drunk driving car accident which left one Pennsylvania teen dead and landed his mother in jail. It is well known that drunk drivers are more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than sober drivers. It is also well known that many personal injuries and non-fatal accidents are attributable to intoxicated drivers.

A new study indicates that sick drivers may be just as dangerous as intoxicated drivers. That means this flu and cold season can present unknown hazards for area motorists and passengers. The study was funded by two insurance companies and found that driving with a cold is just as hazardous as driving after having four double-shots of whiskey.

Authorities know anecdotally that sick drivers are a hazard on local roads. Many drivers are more preoccupied with their running noses than the road. Powerful over-the-counter or prescription cold medicines may also impair a driver's ability to safely operate his or her vehicle.

The insurance study found that sick drivers had delayed reaction time to changes in road or traffic conditions. Sick drivers also had problems quickly applying the brakes or negotiating curves, which made the risk of a serious car accident more likely.

As with any car accident, it is important to remember that sick drivers may be held accountable for the damages that they cause after a traffic accident occurs. A personal injury attorney can hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions and help victims pursue the compensation that they deserve.

Source: Komo News, "Study: Driving while sick as bad as drunk driving," Mark Miller, Jan. 5, 2012

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