On a daily basis, our San Francisco accident law firm is reminded that every accident is unique. Accidents can have a myriad of causes and often multiple factors are at play in a single San Francisco car accident. Most people are aware of the dangers posed by drinking and driving, texting behind the wheel, and reckless driving behaviors such as speeding, fewer people consider the impact that a driver’s health can have on automobile safety
One health issue that is of growing concern in our country and our state is diabetes. Few stop to consider the issue but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued statements noting that, in some cases, diabetes can impair a patient’s ability to drive and can lead to accidents on the road. Blood sugar levels that are either too high or too low can leave a patient feeling dizzy, sleepy, or confused and can also cause blurred vision. In more extreme cases, dangerous blood sugar levels can lead to loss of consciousness. If diabetes is not well-controlled, long-term effects can include nerve damage and visual impairment
Most individuals with diabetes can drive safely, but diabetics should be vigilant about monitoring there health status. It is vital that patients discuss safe driving with their health care providers. Monitoring blood glucose levels is important for the health of a diabetic patient and is even more crucial when the patient is behind the wheel. For some patients, keeping healthy snacks in the glove compartment can be a useful in case glucose levels drop suddenly. Low blood glucose levels can inhibit a driver’s ability to focus on the multiple tasks involved in driving safely. All drivers should have regular vision checks but this is particularly important for diabetics given the impact the condition can have on visual strength.
Diabetes is of particular concern given the recent rise in patients being diagnosed with the condition, but it is certainly not the only health issue that can impact driving ability. Sleep disorders, epilepsy, and fainting spells are just a few of the health issues that, when not well-controlled, can make driving unsafe. Patients dealing with any disease or chronic health condition should talk with their doctor about whether their health might impair their ability to drive safely. Options do exist, including public transportation and community center services, that can help an individual maintain mobility when driving is deemed unsafe.
Responsible driving means ensuring that the driver is both mentally and physically fit for being behind the wheel. Even a short trip can be dangerous when health impairs the ability of a driver to handle the complex task. Drivers must be honest in assessing their own ability to drive and family and friends should have an honest conversation if they believe health renders it unsafe for a loved one to drive.
We believe in preventing car accidents but we also know that they are a reality. If you have been injured in a car accident in San Francisco or elsewhere in Northern California, please contact our firm. Our experienced San Francisco injury lawyer can help you sort out the details of your unique case and determine if you may be entitled to damages and compensation for an accident that was not your fault.
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