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Driving while ill can be risky

A doctor and a patient23/02/12

By Mary Ann Pickford

Taking to the road while unwell with a bout of the flu bug can pose a risk to many drivers, warned the AA.

Research conducted by the motoring company and Populus surveyed 20,000 AA members. Data revealed that 19 per cent claimed to have known someone who had taken the wheel while poorly with the flu or cold.

Driving in this state can be dangerous as reaction times can be slower and focus can also be affected. Other risks include sneezing, which could result in the driver being blind for 70 yards or more, depending on the speed of the vehicle.

It can also mean that the unfit driver might find it difficult to drive straight along the road, as well as becoming easily distracted by the usual symptoms of a cold such as runny noses and headaches.

Edmund King, AA president, said: "If a driver has a heavy cold or flu then their reaction times and concentration behind the wheel can be affected. People will still need to drive when they are unwell but they should be aware of the added dangers and adapt their driving accordingly."

However drivers should be careful of using over-the-counter medicine to treat coughs and colds, as taking too much could further limit a person's awareness and focus on the roads.

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