Travelling while suffering from symptoms of the illness will cause motorists to lose the same level of concentration as using a mobile phone or driving while drunk. This could cause road users to pick up fines and penalty points for distracted or dangerous driving offences.
Motoring lawyer Nick Freeman warned of the dangers of driving with coronavirus before claiming drivers may be set to receive strict penalties.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Freeman said: “Many people may regard driving as an extension of self-isolation since they are simply alone in their car and therefore not mixing with people.
“However, in my view, symptoms such as fever, lethargy and a dry cough equate to the same lack of concentration as using a mobile phone as well as driving whilst over the limit.
“That’s why it is vital the Government advises people of the dangers of driving whilst suffering with coronavirus.”
Research by Cardiff University’s Common Cold Unit found motorists suffered a massive decrease in driving ability while ill.
Experts found a drop in ability of over 50 percent when taking part in common driving functions such as braking and cornering.
The Institute for Advanced Motorists says reaction times will slow down when you are not feeling well which can cause you to brake suddenly.
They warn drivers can travel up to 50ft while their eyes are closed during a sneeze which causes them to temporarily lose control of the vehicle.
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Mr Freeman added: “Drivers need to be reminded that if their motoring is impaired they could be charged with anything from driving without due care to dangerous driving .
“They also need to remember that even though roads are emptier, and temptation is therefore stronger, all road traffic laws remain in place and cameras are still operational.
“And in the absence of speed awareness courses the prospect of points and a fine increase significantly.”
According to the lawyer, officers may be forced to issue fines and penalty points even for minor offences amid the outbreak.
Motoring experts the AA warns medication taken while feeling ill could leave motorists falling drowsy and potentially unsafe in another risk.
Road users should always read the information on the label before taking medicine to see if there are any restrictions around driving.
Under new coronavirus lockdown measures, you should only leave your house for essential reasons such as visiting the shops for food and medicine or to help those in need.
Police have warned against driving to beauty spots or national parks for exercise as this will be considered a non-essential journey.
Officers across the UK now have powers to issue fines of up to £60 for those caught travelling for non-essential reasons.
This fine will be decreased to £30 if paid within two weeks but failing to abide by police orders could even see you arrested.
Mr Freeman said: “The best thing drivers can do is follow the Government advice to stay at home unless their journey is essential.”
Published at Sun, 29 Mar 2020 06:48:00 +0000