DUI: Driving Under Influenza?

DUI: Driving Under Influenza?

Summary: Driving with a cold could be as bad as driving drunk on four double whiskey drinks.


According to the UK Press association, driving with a cold could be as bad as driving drunk on four double whiskey drinks.

This data comes from insurance company Young Marmalade (yes, that's actually the name of a real insurance company in the UK, not a disco song or a breakfast jelly), which experimented with with black box technology, proving that sick drivers were worse at cornering, braking, reaction time, and driving at appropriate speeds. Similar data was also corroborated in south Wales by the Cardiff University Common Cold Unit.

Driving difficulty isn't even attributable to cold medication, it's simply because being sick with a cold has a negative effect on a person's mood, concentration and judgement. Sneezing and coughing also may cause shaking, and can cause eyes to squeeze shut involuntarily, and to water, which affect a driver's ability to keep his or her eyes on the road where they belong.

Although there's no hard data on exactly how many accidents per year are caused while driving under the influence of influenza or cold, the number is estimated to be high.

Considering that there are also a lot of people out there driving drunk, texting while driving, or driving while drowsy, and that it's relatively dark outside at early hours, and that weather conditions may not be so great at this time of year, do your best to stay home if you have a cold, or at least keep an eye out for other drivers who might not be in the best shape to be on the road.

Here's hoping you ZDNet Health readers are all enjoying the start of the new year while staying safe, warm and well!

Topics: Enterprise Software, Banking


Denise Amrich is a Registered Nurse, the health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, and a mentor for the Virtual Campus at Florida's Brevard Community College.

Nothing in this article is meant to be a substitute for medical advice, and shouldn't be considered as such. If you are in need of medical help, please see your doctor.

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  • RE: DUI: Driving Under Influenza?

    [b] Agree. [/b] I do not believe that driving restrictions are a one size fits all.
  • Ohh Wonderful! Give

    the bleeding heart liberals something else to legislate against! Sure take the day of because your sick...good luck with that, guess you don't know what a great excuse for a company to fire you that is. I know a Special Procedures Tech ( Xray, Ultrasound, etc. ) with 25 years in the job, fired for being 2 minutes late! So yea, lets make it against the law to drive when your sick............
    • Just because some things should be avoided...

      @winddrift03 <br>...doesn't mean they should be prohibited. Part of the problem, however, is that Libertarians appear to be afraid to criticize any aspect of personal behavior, except maybe altruism, on the theory that someone might try to ban it.<br><br>I'm surprised I don't hear screams of "nanny state" because some states openly encourage fatigued drivers to take naps at highway rest areas.<br><br>Reply to Lerianis10:<br><br>The real concern should be whether the report is true and how should it affect people's voluntary behavior (if at all). I think libertarians should be encouraging people to exercise self-restraint so as not to make themselves obnoxious to their neighbors, as an alternative to relying on legislation to do it for them; but avoiding legitimate issues (or seeking to suppress the truth) because one is afraid that discussing them will lead to new laws and regulations strikes me as counterproductive in the extreme.<br><br>If you want to demonstrate that libertarianism works, then it's best to start with yourself (instead of loudly accusing your fellow citizens of tyranny).<br><br>Edit: I've actually thought about writing a dystopian story about a society where altruism is considered a criminal offense. Maybe I'll write it one of these days.
      John L. Ries
      • RE: DUI: Driving Under Influenza?

        @John L. Ries

        That is because the 'nanny-staters' out there WOULD try to ban some behavior in order to get some minuscule more safety in their lives.
    • RE: DUI: Driving Under Influenza?

      @winddrift03 what's this got to do with politics? The article doesn't mention new driving restrictions due for when we're sick.
  • If you're sick enough to cause an accident

    why he hell aren't you in bed instead of on the road? I guess there's enough evidence to prove common sense doesn't prevail. *oh wait*
  • RE: DUI: Driving Under Influenza?

    What's next? - Driving under the influence your own personality? As it has a very big impact on your driving performance!

    Nothing is without risk, understand your risks and live better.
  • RE: DUI: Driving Under Influenza?

    Caution: Pregnant and Breastfeeding women use them.Keep out reach of children .Do not give to children.