Driving is the most dangerous activity in most commuters’ day, and it requires their full attention. It is commonly understood that drivers need to remain free of intoxication and distraction, and they also need to be adequately rested before getting behind the wheel. Along those same lines, drivers who suffer from some chronic medical conditions are told by their doctors that it is unsafe for them to drive a car. A new study discussed in an insurance industry news source discusses the lasting impact that a concussion can have on a driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle.
According to the news article, the effects of a recent concussion on driving ability had not previously been studied, with most of the concussion-related research focusing on athletes, their performance, and the potential for long-term brain damage. This study consisted of 14 participants, all of whom had previously reported suffering from a concussion. Each of the participants was asked to come in for a driving exam 48 hours after they last noticed symptoms of their concussion. The results were frightening.
As it turns out, even 48 hours after the last recognizable signs of a concussion, drivers were still more likely to operate their vehicle in an erratic manner, much like a drunk driver. Specifically, the study reported that these drivers had less control over the vehicle and were more likely to swerve within their own lane of travel.
While the study is of a limited sample size, it does suggest that the medical field may need to reconsider the conventional wisdom when it comes to the amount of time that someone should wait to get behind the wheel after suffering from a concussion.
Medical Issues and Personal Injury Liability
Most car accidents are preventable. However, some accidents caused by medical issues cannot be prevented because the sudden onset of a serious medical condition may not be foreseeable. That being said, the law will not necessarily excuse a driver from liability solely because the accident occurred in the wake of a medical event or emergency.
The focus in personal injury cases is whether the driver should have been aware of the risk that they may suffer a medical emergency, or if they did anything to prevent or reduce that risk. For example, someone diagnosed with epilepsy after suffering several seizures and prescribed medication may still be held liable for an accident caused when they suffered a seizure behind the wheel after failing to take their medication.
The research above, if further substantiated, may serve as notice to those who have suffered a concussion that they need to take additional precautions before getting behind the wheel. This may include waiting additional days or weeks before driving.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Other drivers and their insurance companies may try to convince you that you do not have a case for compensation in hopes that you will not pursue a claim against them. Rather than listen to the advice of other interested parties, you should retain your own experienced attorney to help you determine if you may have a case. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our time or services unless we can ultimately help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
More Blog Posts:
Court Discusses the Superior/Equal Knowledge Doctrine in Recent Personal Injury Case, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published February 2, 2017.
An Attorney’s Role in Ensuring a Personal Injury Verdict Is Not Unfairly Reduced, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published January 17, 2017.