Is your nose distracting you from driving safely?

We all know that it is important to pay attention to the road while driving. This is why many states have enacted laws against cellphone use and texting while driving. We also know that fatigued driving and drunk driving are very dangerous habits which make serious car accidents more likely. What may many surprise drivers is that driving while sick can be just as dangerous as distracted or drunk driving.

A new report funded by two insurance companies indicates that sick driving is extremely dangerous. Sick drivers were more likely to brake suddenly, failed to easily negotiate curves, and displayed an overall diminished ability to react to driving conditions. This is especially worrisome because area roads are known to be very slick during flu season.

The study found that ill drivers drove like individuals who had the equivalent of four double-shots of whiskey. This may be a sobering fact for many workers who believe that they can “tough a cold out” and commute safely to the office.

One police trooper said that he has noticed that sick drivers are more dangerous than other drivers. The trooper said that sickness distracts drivers from the important task of driving.

“You’re more focused on your cold than you are on your driving,” the trooper said. “You should be evaluating yourself. Can I drive safely while I’m feeling as ill as I am?”

The trooper added that drivers who take strong cold medicines should also avoid driving. Medicine can cause drivers to become drowsy and makes a serious car accident more likely.

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

Phones linked to over 3,000 car accident deaths in 2010

A cellphone can be one of the most dangerous things for Pittsburgh drivers and pedestrians. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that over 3,000 people lost their lives in 2010 in car accidents that were attributable to cellphone use.

Calling and texting on a phone diverts a driver’s attention from the road and makes it more likely that an accident will occur. Even drivers who are using hands-free devices are shown to be distracted from the task of driving and more likely to cause an accident. Distracted drivers can be held accountable for the damage that they cause by an experienced Pittsburgh personal injury attorney.

A personal injury attorney can file a negligence lawsuit against those who cause car accidents while being distracted by their cellphones. Funds from a negligence lawsuit can help pay for the damage arising out of a car accident including medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress, among other things.

Family members who lose loved ones due to distracted drivers also have options. A personal injury attorney can file a wrongful death action against motorists who cause fatal crashes. A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of legal action in which the surviving family members of a deceased car accident victim can sue the driver that caused the accident. Funds from a wrongful death lawsuit can pay for medical and funeral expenses arising out of a fatal accident in addition to compensating family members for the loss of the car accident victim’s love and companionship.

Source: USA Today, “Feds: Phoning, texting killed 3,092 in car crashes last year,” James R. Healey, Dec. 8, 2011

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