High flu rates means more dangerous drivers in Colorado

High flu rates means more dangerous drivers in Colorado

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Recent studies indicate that Colorado has some of the highest influenza rates in the nation. The flu spreads rapidly during the peak of winter, so more workers might be calling in sick in the next few weeks.

As much as these people want to be active even when they are sick, it’s best that they stay home and get some rest for the sake of themselves and others around them. While most people would likely think it’s to prevent spreading the infectious disease to others, flu victims have a much worse way of hurting someone if they get in the driver’s seat. While you may insist that you are still good enough to drive on your own, here are some reasons you should consider otherwise:

You are physically incapable

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common symptoms of the flu include:

  • Aching muscles
  • Extreme fluctuating body temperatures
  • Headaches
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Congestion
  • Sore throat

One of these symptoms alone will have a negative effect on your driving. Muscle pain will make it difficult to grip and steer the wheel, coughing can take your eyes off the road, fatigue and headaches make it nearly impossible to concentrate and the rest are major inconveniences that ultimately prove distracting.

If you share a vehicle with a roommate or family member, you aren’t doing them any favors with your presence in the car alone. After getting into the driver’s seat, they’ll put the hands in the same place you put yours and breathe in the area you coughed in. You do not want to get them sick and limit your transportation options even further.

Medicine will not help

Most people compare driving while sick to drunk driving given how both put the driver at a major physical and mental disadvantage on the road. If you take some medicine to make your throat feel better and reduce your coughing, you might be doing both. Many cough medicines contain a large amount of alcohol and are designed to put you to sleep earlier. If the police tests you with a breathalyzer, a few teaspoons alone may bump up your BAC number. Even if you are not drinking beer or taking shots of vodka, you are still consuming alcohol.

If you absolutely need to be somewhere that isn’t your home or a hospital when you get the flu, have a family member or neighbor get you where you need to go or consider contacting a ride service company. Driving by yourself in this state is dangerous to both you and everyone else on the road. Even if you are not sick, you need to be careful given how dangerous Colorado streets are in the winter and how many people are coming down with the flu around this time of year.