NEWPORT, England More than 125,000 crashes were caused last year by motorists with colds and flu, according to research released by Lloyds TSB Insurance on Saturday.
“Our research proves that getting behind the wheel when ill causes thousands of accidents every year,” stated Paula Llewellyn, Lloyds spokeswoman.
Driving with a virus such as cold or flu impairs driver awareness by as much as 11%, the insurer noted, which is the equivalent of downing a double whisky before getting behind the wheel.
According to the motor insurance provider, one in 10 road accidents in 2008 can be attributed to flu – equating to a cost of $244.4 million in claims.
Despite the risks, public awareness of the problem is low, with 12 million (38%) admitting that they have driven while suffering from cold or flu – and half of these drivers (46%) believing that the illness has no affect at all on their driving ability.