Your health affects a lot more than just your overall well-being. Certain health conditions — even when they are undetected — could severely impact your ability to drive. Each year, thousands of people suffer personal injuries or are killed by drivers in poor health who suffer heart attacks or other health incidences while on the road. To prevent this from happening to you, start taking charge of your health. Consider:
1) Getting a yearly check-up. Even if you feel fine, you could have a vitamin deficiency, an illness, or another condition that can affect your driving. A regular physical will help you combat any potential health issues before they affect your driving and your safety on the road.
2) Calling a cab if you feel unwell. Many drivers step into their car even when they don’t feel well. However, driving when you have the flu or even when you have a dizzy spell can affect your ability to drive. You could easily lose control of your vehicle, lose consciousness, or even just have a slow response time that land you right in the middle of a car accident. If you don’t feel well, get someone to drive you to a doctor, stay home, or take a taxi to your destination. Driving when unwell is dangerous.
3) Checking your medication. Whether you have prescription medication or are taking over-the-counter pills or even vitamins, make sure that you read carefully about drug interactions and possible side effects. If you’re not sure, ask your physician or pharmacist. Never drive when taking medications or supplements that make you feel weak, dizzy, or sleepy. If a substance states right on the label that you shouldn’t operate heavy machinery when taking the medicine, stay away from the car.
4) Monitoring existing health conditions closely. If you know you have a health condition, make sure that you ask your physician about your ability to drive. Some health conditions can cause symptoms such as dizziness, which can affect your ability to stay safe on the road. If your condition seems to be getting worse, stay off the roads. If your physician tells you to avoid driving while taking certain medication or while getting certain treatments, make sure that you follow your doctor’s advice.
5) Checking symptoms immediately. If you have any symptoms that can affect your driving — such as changes in vision, severe pain, nausea, or anything else — stay off the roads until you know that your symptoms can be handled effectively. Visit a doctor to manage these symptoms and in order to get appropriate tests. Your symptoms may suddenly get worse while you’re on the road, causing a hazard.