Common Health Issues that Can Impact your Driving Ability and Performance
Sure, texting while driving and drunk driving cause accidents on the road. A lot of public announcements have been made in order to minimize the number of people driving under the influence and those who use their cellphone while driving. But it is important to note that health also impacts a person’s ability to drive. AODD’s Online Traffic School, an online traffic school in San Juan Capistrano, CA, realizes that poor health conditions can lead to crashes. Below are some of the health problems to know before you or your loved one drives.
Diabetes has side effects that include confusion, dizziness and sleepiness which are all harmful when behind the wheel. In extreme scenarios, somebody who has diabetes can have seizure or lose consciousness. Ensure that diabetes is well controlled so you can continue to drive safely. It is important to address any concerns of too high or too low blood sugar right away.
An eye test can be taken if you get your permit and renew your driver’s license. In terms of driving, vision is an essential consideration. It is imperative to clearly see the road, lights, signs, pedestrians and other vehicles. Thus, when there is a change in vision, you better stay off the road until it is corrected. The problem could be a simple one that you just need to have new prescription glasses. A lot of seniors have worsening vision issues and must undergo a cataract surgery. Macular degeneration and glaucoma are also vision problems that must be corrected first before trying to drive.
A person who experiences a seizure would not be able to control his vehicle anymore. Every state has different regulations in terms of drivers who have a history of seizure. Usually, states will require some time to pass following a seizure before a driver is permitted to drive again. For instance, if a state requires a period of one year, the driver should not experience seizure for the entire year before he can be behind the wheel again.
While the majority of those who have arthritis can still safely drive, drivers with severe symptoms may not. When there is limited motion, it can be hard to apply the gas pedals and brake. Also, it may not be possible to turn the steering wheel in a smooth manner. When neck, feet or hand movement is limited because of arthritis, it may be a smart idea to stop driving until the problem is addressed.
Those who have Alzheimer’s are prone to getting lost and getting confused, which can be a driving problem. This can result in the sufferer pressing the gas when he actually meant to breaking or going through a red light rather than stopping. Unluckily, a lot of those with dementia don’t realize they cannot safely drive anymore so family intervention may be necessary to keep them from getting behind the wheel.
Flu and Cold
While you may think that flu or the common cold doesn’t impact driving, it actually does. It is not easy to concentrate on the road if you are feeling sleepy because of a fever or excessive sneezing. In case you have taken any over-the-counter medicines to treat the symptoms of a flu or cold, this can even make you more dizzy or drowsy. If you are ill, just stay home and rest until your health gets back to normal before you drive your vehicle again.
Because you may be suffering any of the health issue above, you may be prescribed by medications that can cause some side effects and affect your driving ability. A lot of drugs have adverse side effects like hazy vision, unsteadiness, drowsiness, dizziness, slowed reaction time and fainting. Common medications that can cause side effects include antidepressants, sleep aids, strong painkillers as well as antihistamines for colds and allergies.
Having certain medical conditions doesn’t have to mean that you will need to stop driving. However, pay close attention to your driving performance. In case you are concerned about your driving, consult with your physician and think about taking a driving evaluation or test.