Recent news about a man who was killed in a car accident when he experienced an unexpected medical event is an example of how deadly this type of situation can be for drivers. While a medical emergency itself may not kill the driver, the resulting crash can seriously injured or kill the driver or other vehicle occupants. And if the medical event does result in the driver’s death (e.g. a fatal heart attack) the car they were driving can hit others, causing damage and personal injury.
Many drivers in Virginia and North Carolina suffer from some kind of medical condition or another, but not all are dangerous on the road. Below are some examples of medical conditions that can contribute to deadly motor vehicle accidents:
- Seizures: some medical conditions – like epilepsy – lead to occasional seizures. Seizures can be very dangerous if they happen while a person is behind the wheel of a car. Medication given to control seizures can also be dangerous if it causes side effects like drowsiness and slowed reaction times.
- Diabetes: it can be unsafe for people with complications from diabetes like severe low blood glucose levels or vision problems to drive. Diabetes sufferers should work closely with their medical care professional to ensure they are fit to drive.
- Medication use: some medications have side effects that can make driving unsafe. Even common cold and flu remedies can make some people drowsy, and other prescription medications have warnings against driving.
- Medication overdose: a medication may not in itself be dangerous to take while driving, but even a slight overdose could bring on side effects that leave a driver impaired.
- Sleep disorders: some sleep disorders like sleep apnea can leave a driver too tired to drive safely. A lack of good sleep can leave a person just as impaired as too much alcohol.
- Dementia: older Americans are at risk for dementia, which can affect a person’s judgment and ability to drive safely. Dementia can cause memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and sight impairment – all which make driving dangerous.
Warning signs that a medical condition may preclude driving
Drivers who experience the following problems should be evaluated by a medical professional to ensure it is safe for them to drive:
- Vision impairment like limited vision or difficulty discerning movement in one’s peripheral vision
- Hearing problems like difficulty hearing other cars, horns or other warning sounds.
- Impaired reaction time
- Feeling extremely tired, problems staying awake
- Difficulty solving problems or frustration when faced with a difficult situation
- Lack of coordination or clumsy behavior
- Mood changes when driving (like anger or aggression) because the individual is having a hard time behind the wheel
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Virginia or North Carolina car or truck accident, please contact the personal injury attorneys at Tavss Fletcher.
555 East Main Street, 14th Floor
Norfolk, VA 23510
Telephone: (757) 625-1214
Facsimile: (757) 622-7295