Warning issued to motorists feeling ill - 20 percent risk £2,500 fine as a result of driving while unwell
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The survey of more than 1,300 drivers conducted by Scrap Car Comparison revealed motorists are frequently driving while unwell, or while taking medications that could impact their driving - potentially leaving them on the wrong side of the law.
Nearly one in five drivers, which is almost 20 percent, admit to driving while prone to sneezing (from hayfever or a cold), which could leave them accused of driving without due care and attention, if it were to cause a crash.
Potential outcomes of the offence include fines totalling £2,500 and three to nine penalty points. To a new driver, still within the first two years of holding a licence, this would result in having to retake the driving test.
Other common symptoms that could land you in hot water by lowering concentration and causing a distraction include headaches, fatigue and stomach cramps. It is advised not to drive while suffering from these kinds of symptoms.
Driving whilst fatigued can prove fatal, hence signs on motorways advising drivers to take frequent breaks. The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) says the maximum driving time before taking a break is 4.5 hours.
Dan Gick, Managing Director at Scrap Car Comparison said: “Driving while feeling ill can put you at increased risk of having an accident and landing yourself in trouble with the law, so the best advice is to stay at home if you feel any of these symptoms, or if you are taking any medication that could impact your driving ability.
“However, we know that it’s not always that easy, especially if symptoms start whilst you’re already driving. If you start feeling unwell while driving, try to pull over at the earliest possible point when safe to do so.
“This can be a service station if you’re on a motorway, safely on the side of the road, or somewhere such as a car park. Once you’ve parked safely, take some time away from driving, get some fresh air and give yourself time to relax and reassess how you’re feeling.
“It’s also always important to read the guidance labels on your medications or consult with a GP to find out more about what you’re taking and the activities you should avoid doing whilst taking them.
“If you know you need to drive whilst taking medications that could put you at risk of driving dangerously, consider asking a friend or family member to drive you, or take public transport if your journey is essential.”
Top 10 symptoms that people admit to driving while suffering from
Cough – 34%
Sore throat - 32%
Runny/blocked nose - 30%
Headache - 29%
Sneezes - 19%
Muscle or body aches - 17%
Tiredness/fatigue/exhaustion - 14%
Stomach cramps - 8%
High temperature - 7%
Fever - 6%