According to Psychology Today, COVID-19 can impact much more than just your respiratory system. It can impact your brain. One third of individuals who get COVID-19 go on to develop “neurobehavioral symptoms” which can include: “dizziness, headaches, weakness and fatigue, muscle pain, loss of taste and smell, and impaired thinking.” These symptoms are alarming enough, even if you are staying home and self-isolating like you should. But what happens if a person suffering from these symptoms decides to drive? What happens if a person suffering from these symptoms gets involved in a car accident? Should driving while sick with COVID-19 be considered negligence, at least in cases where a person is seriously impaired?
Research published several years ago indicates that driving while sick with the common cold can impair your driving ability. According to CBS News, when individuals with cold symptoms were asked to drive in a computer simulation setting, drivers were found to have a 50% reduction in their driving ability, which is the same reduction in driving ability observed when a person drank four whiskeys. And this is just research involving the common cold. COVID-19 can have a range of symptoms that are far worse than this.
What does all of this mean if you’ve been hurt in a car accident in which the other driver appears so ill that they shouldn’t have been behind the wheel? First of all, drivers should always call the police and make a police report after a car accident. If the driver was taking medication that could make them drowsy, even over the counter medication, this could be seen as a mitigating factor in your case. Even if the other driver wasn’t taking medication, but still behaved in a manner that caused your accident, you may have the ability to pursue a claim. Ultimately, it comes down to negligence. Did the other driver rear-end you, was he or she speeding? Did he or she violate the rules of the road, or was he or she driving in an erratic manner and this led to your crash?
Being sick while behind the wheel can impact your concentration. Given the fact that people who feel sick are being asked to stay home, victims who have been in a car accident with someone who has active symptoms of the coronavirus may have added ammunition when pursuing a personal injury case.
What’s the takeaway? If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t drive. If you need medical attention, call for help. Don’t put others on the road in danger. Don’t put the general public in danger by running the risk of spreading illness.
Ballard Law, PLLC is an accident lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi that may be able to help you if you or someone you love was hurt in a car accident. There are many causes of car accidents. If you believe another driver’s actions behind the wheel resulted in your crash, you may have the right to pursue a lawsuit. If you’ve been hurt, you may only have a limited amount of time to make a claim. Connect with USAttorneys.com to get matched with a personal injury attorney at Ballard Law, PLLC today.