driving while sick

Achoo! Have you ever driven while sneezing and sniffling? It might surprise you to realize that this is actually risky behavior.

Driving while sick is one of the lesser-known causes of road accidents. If you cause a crash, your sickness can be considered a form of distracted driving or even drunk/drugged driving. All it takes is one big sneeze, then your eyes are closed and your attention is off the road.

Most people probably think it’s not a big deal to drive while they’re sick. But we’d like to share some important reasons to reconsider hitting the road when you’re under the weather.

You Could Be a Drunk or Drugged Driver

Cold medicine is no joke when it comes to driving. Some cold medicines and other types of prescriptions are so strong, taking a dose can cause you to drive erratically and be arrested for driving under the influence.

Remember, California law includes legal drugs and over-the-counter medications in the definition of driving under the influence. This means YES, you can be arrested for driving with medicine in your system that impacts your ability to drive safely.

Driving While Sick is as Dangerous as Driving Drunk

Even if you’re not taking medication, research shows driving sick can be as bad as driving drunk. When an illness is making you feel woozy and cloudy-headed, your ability to focus can suffer and your reaction time can slow significantly.

This is especially important when a widespread illness like COVID-19 has impacted so many people. If you’re struggling with a respiratory illness, including symptoms like fever, upset stomach, coughing, and body aches, it’s hard to keep your full attention on the road. When in doubt, stay home.

An Injured Person Could Say You Were Negligent

If you cause an accident while you’re sick, beware. The other person could try to gather evidence that shows you were too sick to be driving.

For example, their lawyer could dig up medical records and pharmacy receipts that show you were taking cold medications prior to the crash. They could locate witnesses who saw you talking about having the flu. They could even use your social media posts against you if you said something like, “I hate being sick!”

To stay safe and keep others safe on the road, avoid driving when you’re experiencing conditions like:

  • Influenza (the flu)
  • Stomach virus
  • COVID-19
  • Eye infection or pinkeye
  • Ear infections
  • Severe migraines
  • Whooping cough
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • An unknown or undiagnosed illness

Take Action if a Sick Driver Injures You

If you’ve been injured by a sick driver and can prove they were aware of their illness, you may have a claim against them. With the help of a lawyer, you can make a persuasive case for compensation from their insurance company or you could win a valuable personal lawsuit.

At Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we can help you gather the evidence you need to make a strong case for auto accident compensation. So if a sick person injures you, contact us for excellent representation from California lawyers who truly care about your health and safety.

We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an accident, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many types of traffic injury claims, including car accidents with sick drivers. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal details.

We care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.

Car Accident Client

I was involved in a car accident that left me with a broken leg, thanks to someone running a red light! It was my first time being involved in something like this (totaled car, surgery, and 4 days in the hospital). Through advice of some close friends and family they recommended I get a personal injury lawyer, being relatively new to the Bay Area I had no idea who to go to, so I started shopping around and came across Sally Morin and I instantly felt at ease with them overseeing my case. I was completely right, they handled everything I needed them to do even though the other parties insurance was useless and is so bad they are supposedly being sued by other people for not paying out in spite of that the team here was able to get the full settlement amount. All of this allowed me to completely focus on my physical recovery! A big shout out to Rebecca and Carmen!

We're here to help with your Personal Injury claim

Check out our Personal Injury FAQ Page to learn more about how the process works.

We Handle Your Personal Injury Accident Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life

After an injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including pedestrian and car accidents that involve speeding. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details.

We truly care about the people of San Jose and all of California. Contact us today for a
free online case evaluation.


It is essential to know your rights after a traffic accident so you can protect yourself and the value of your claim.
This guide will help you:

  • 1Know what to do when dealing with insurance claims, police reports and lawyers.
  • 2Avoid making mistakes that undermine the value of your claim
  • 3Put yourself in a position to get the best settlement possible