Is Driving While Ill Considered Dangerous?
With COVID-19, it’s best to focus on prevention—hand hygiene, social distancing and staying home as much as you’re able to. But it’s also helpful to have a plan in case you become ill. Symptoms of COVID-19 can come on suddenly, as can the signs of other illnesses. You may find yourself needing to get to a testing site or an emergency room but not having a way to get there.
Driving yourself shouldn’t be an option you choose to include in your plan. When you’re ill with possible COVID-19 symptoms, including fever or breathing difficulties, you don’t have the focus and physical ability to drive safely. This could lead to a car crash, delaying your treatment, potentially causing injuries and possibly spreading the virus to first responders.
First ask if you even need to drive
According to the CDC, the most common COVID-19 symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
If you’re experiencing these signs, the first step is to call your doctor. Many healthcare appointments have been moved to virtual consultations, and your provider may be able to see you from afar. If you’re prescribed any medications, ask the pharmacy if they can be delivered or ask if someone can pick them up for you. Driving with a fever, chills or shortness of breath not only potentially spreads the virus when you should be resting at home, it puts you at risk for an accident as well.
If your doctor recommends testing, you’ll also want to pay attention to your symptoms and determine if you’re really fit to drive.
The emergency warning signs you should never ignore
While the symptoms above are the most common signs of COVID-19, sudden changes require immediate help. If you have any of these emergency warning signs, you need medical help right away:
- Trouble breathing
- Pain or pressure in chest
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
It would be nearly impossible to drive yourself while experiencing such symptoms. Call 911 or have a family member immediately drive you to an emergency facility, calling ahead first to note that you’re a possible COVID-19 patient.
Are you liable?
Of course, most of us have driven through colds or other discomforts. However, it’s critical to distinguish serious illnesses and accept that when you’re seriously ill, it’s just not safe to drive yourself. In fact, if you’re sick and you cause an accident, you’ll have a very challenging time explaining why you were on the road in the first place.
While Georgia has a sudden medical emergency law excusing some accidents, the law only applies to truly unpredictable emergencies—like a loss of consciousness with no warning signs and no past history. If you had a fever, chose to push through your illness and passed out or became disoriented, you’d have no excuse for being on the road. Instead, ask for help and get the medical treatment you need.
If you have been injured, you need a Macon accident lawyer with experience. The Macon personal injury attorneys at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill will help ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation today.