Flu worse than whisky for drivers

10.15 | 13 January 2012 |

Drivers with heavy colds have been urged not to take to the road after tests showed their reaction speeds are worse than people who have drunk four large whiskies (Telegraph).

Motorists afflicted by heavy colds or flu suffer a major loss of concentration when behind the wheel, putting themselves and other road users at risk, a new report by insurance company Young Marmalade revealed.

Car safety experts found a dramatic increase in poor driving when victims of a cold were subjected to scientific tests. Reactions times dropped sharply and sudden braking became much more frequent, as the motorist was less aware of surrounding traffic, while cornering also became erratic.

With the winter flu season hitting Britain, research shows that driving ability is estimated to drop by over 50% when motorists are under the weather. According to the Telegraph report, this is the equivalent of drinking more than four double whiskies.

Nigel Lacy, co-founder of Young Marmalade, said: “This small-scale trial provides a warning for motorists. A heavy cold can impair a driver’s mood, concentration and judgement.”

The findings back up work carried out by Cardiff University Common Cold Unit which showed that those with colds and flu suffered from poor reaction times and alertness and were a third more likely to hit the roadside kerb.

Click here to read the full Telegraph report.


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