Dangers of Driving While Ill

May 8, 2020

Over the past several years, the National Safety Council (NSC) has observed Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. In 2020, the NSC is postponing awareness month until October due to COVID-19. While every citizen of the US is currently dealing with the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, it’s especially important to remember the dangers of driving while ill. Due to distractions that may be caused by pain or fever, sick people may never make it to their destination due to a serious car accident.

We’ve covered the dangers of distracted driving in past posts. Driving while ill or injured is another example of the many possible causes of distracted driving accidents. When possible, it is highly encouraged to find someone who can drive you if you are suffering from illness, injury, or disease.

Is driving while sick negligent?

Driving while injured or ill could put you at risk of being sued for negligence. Some states may allow a “sudden medical emergency” defense for those who suffer sudden and unforeseeable emergencies resulting in the loss of capability or consciousness. In such cases, they may not be held liable for negligent acts. That said, causing an accident while sick may leave the driver open to liability.

Illnesses such as flu, cold, or COVID-19 may not be considered a sudden and unforeseeable emergency since the sick driver will likely have exhibited symptoms before getting behind the wheel of the car. Proving that you were not ill prior to driving in these situations could be extremely difficult or impossible. Therefore, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Seeking Medical Treatment

It’s important to get medical treatment if you contract the flu or other illnesses. Just don’t put yourself and others at risk by driving yourself to the hospital or doctor. If you don’t have a family member or friend to ask, call the hospital or doctor, and ask for alternate transportation methods. Ride-share companies may not allow you to ride if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, so in worst-case scenarios you may need to request an ambulance.

Injured in an Accident?

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you should immediately reach out to a personal injury attorney in your area. The experienced lawyers at Saladino & Schaaf have helped many car crash victims receive the compensation they deserve, but you must act timely to meet Kentucky’s statute of limitations. Contact us to schedule your free consultation or give us a call at 270-444-0406 (Paducah) / 270-753-1529 (Murray) to speak with someone about your case.




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Driving while ill could increase your risks of an accident




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