« back to news

Colds and Flu – an arresting combination?

It's winter, the season of colds and flu and we have a new piece of research which indicates that driving with a blocked nose can be as bad as having four double whiskies, then getting behind the wheel. There, you said you felt ill, didn't you?!

Basically, researchers found that a cold can slow down a driver's reaction times and that sudden braking can become much more frequent – in much the same way as drink driving can. In order to collect this data, a black box was fitted in a car that monitored speed, cornering and braking. The findings concluded that the quality of someone's driving can drop by 50% when then have a cold.

In research terms, this was only a small-scale trial but it provides a big enough warning for drivers: a heavy cold can impair a driver's mood, concentration levels and their judgement.

In real terms, you shouldn't drive at all if you feel unwell. The best place to be when you have a cold or flu is at home (and not spreading germs around your workplace) – but if you really have to venture out, then try not to drive.

If this warning isn't stark enough, Police have said that drivers getting behind the wheel while suffering from a heavy cold could be prosecuted! Many over the counter cold remedies cause drowsiness which will hamper driving ability. Police warn that if you are stopped and judged unfit to drive, then you have committed the same offence as someone who has driven under the influence of illegal drugs. Certainly food for thought.

Perhaps it is wise to take advice and stay in the warm when feeling unwell – or at least, leave the car at home. This is no doubt great comfort for those who have to run the gauntlet of Human Resources or senior management when calling in sick – if you have taken a cold remedy, you may well be unfit to drive. The best advice is to use your common sense, don't go looking for trouble, and if you feel ill, admit defeat and stay put. Soldiering on could have nasty consequences.

If you are on the receiving end of poor driving and are involved in an accident, make sure you are properly insured. Talk to a professional company – Westhill Insurance Services is an independent company why will take the trouble to find you the most suitable insurance at the best possible price – and that's not to be sneezed at!

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 5th December, 2011