According to the New York Times, over 35,000 new coronavirus cases were reported in the United States in a single day this week. These numbers are alarming because they echo the numbers the U.S. was seeing in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Not only do these figures mean that more people might be getting infected, they also raise other questions. For example, if you are really sick and think you have the coronavirus, should you get behind the wheel? Could drivers who are choosing to get behind the wheel while sick with COVID-19 be putting other road users at risk? One study indicates that driving while sick with the common cold could be just as dangerous as driving while drunk. Given that coronavirus symptoms can be even more debilitating than the common cold, what does this mean for drivers on the road, and what does this mean you should do if you are not feeling well?
Several years ago, CBS News reported on a study that investigated the ways in which driving while sick with the common cold could impair drivers. The researchers found that drivers who were sick had slower reaction times, were less aware of other drivers on the road, were more likely to brake more often, and overall, drove more poorly. In fact, the study noted a 50% drop in driving ability among the drivers who got behind the wheel while sick. Researchers compared the decline in driving ability to drinking two double whiskeys.
So what does this mean for drivers who might be sick with the coronavirus? First, public health officials have asked that people who are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus (or symptoms of the common cold) to stay home. This is important to preventing the spread of the illness. If you are sick, should you even be getting behind the wheel to leave home in the first place? If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 that are serious enough to require medical attention, you may either want to get help getting to the doctor or call 911 for an ambulance.
But what happens if you are in an accident and the other driver appears to be sick? There are no laws against driving while sick and no laws against driving with the common cold. However, there are laws against driving while impaired. If the other driver was under the influence of cold medicine that impacted his or her ability to drive, victims of these kinds of car accidents may be able to seek damages for their losses. If a person with cold symptoms or coronavirus symptoms made a mistake behind the wheel, victims may also have the right to seek damages for their losses. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino is a car accident law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota that works with individuals who have been hurt in crashes. If you or someone you love was hurt in a car accident in Minneapolis, Minnesota, you may have the right to seek damages for your medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.
Cold Medicines and Driving Don’t Mix
Certain cold medications and driving don’t mix. Some cold medicines can make you feel sleepy, drowsy, result in dizziness, fainting, problems with paying attention, and other symptoms. The FDA offers a list of medications that can impact your driving ability. If you are taking these medicines, you may not want to get behind the wheel. These medicines include:
- Any cold medicine containing codeine
- Over the counter and prescription antihistamines for allergies and colds
- Cold medicines with sleep aids
Read the label of any medicine before you take it and read the label if you plan to drive or need to drive. If the label warns against driving after taking the medicine, you may want to avoid getting behind the wheel. Sometimes, however, individuals find themselves in a car accident where they suspect that the other driver might have been taking impairing medication before driving. If this describes a recent accident, you may want to call the police to report the crash, report the accident to your insurance company, and consider reaching out to the car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our car accident attorney is here for you.
Seek Justice After a Car Accident in Minneapolis
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident in Minneapolis, Minnesota, you may be suffering from serious injury, be facing high medical bills and rehabilitation expenses, and may be wondering how you and your family will make ends meet. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino is a car accident law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota that may be able to help you. However, you may only have a limited amount of time to make a claim under the law. Reach out to our law firm today or connect with USAttorneys.com to get matched with a lawyer at the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino today.