March 23, 2009

Flu Increases Risk of Road Accidents

Driving while suffering from flu increases the risk of a road accident as much as two glasses of whisky, according to a new study.

Road safety experts warned that the effect could be further compounded by many cold remedies, available without prescription which can cause severe drowsiness, and by drinking alcohol.

Department for Transport figures show that there were at least 93 fatal accidents on Britain’s roads in 2007 for which illness or disability was a contributing factor.

Having a headache or suffering from premenstrual tension was also found to impair drivers’ abilities, but not as much as the flu, the study, carried out by the firm PCP in York, on behalf of Lloyds TSB insurance, found.

Experiments by the Australian Academy of Science have shown that drinking two units of alcohol, the equivalent of two glasses of whisky, can impair reaction times by 10%.

The legal drink-drive limit is 80mg per 100 millilitres of blood, although the Department of Health warns that this cannot easily be translated into units of alcohol.

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