Are We Too Sick To Drive?

Although more than half (58 per cent) of Brits would recognise they’re too sick to work, they would still get behind the wheel of their car, according to new research.


The survey, conducted by car finance specialist Zuto, asked 1,003 motorists about their attitudes towards driving while suffering from the effects of ten common conditions, only to find that while nearly of half of Brits (47 per cent) would call in sick after breaking an arm, over a fifth (21 per cent) would continue to drive.


Meanwhile, 38 per cent of Brits would call in sick if suffering from sciatica, yet 53 per cent would still be happy to hit the road. In extreme cases, the illness can cause stiff or weak legs. Not ideal for quick reactions if needed. Furthermore, nearly 9 in 10 (86 per cent) motorists said they would take to the roads when they had a cold, risking the effects of the illness and its treatments.

Road Safety

Overall, the results showed that while a third (36 per cent) of motorists would consider themselves too ill to work, over half (58 per cent) of Brits would still get behind the wheel. Encouraging safety on the roads, Zuto wants to ensure that UK drivers are fully aware of the perils to themselves and others when driving with common illnesses.


Christine Davies, a pharmacy technician of over 20 years, said: “Quite a lot of people aren’t aware that the medicines they’re taking can have an effect on their concentration and could cause drowsiness.

“The thing to remember is that all drugs have some side effects, but they aren’t the same for everyone and can interact with other regular medications. The main thing is if you’re taking anything new, and you start to feel unusual in any way, check with your doctor or pharmacist.”


Ailments which can cause visual impairments were met with worrying indifference by off-colour drivers. Nearly half (46 per cent) of those suffering from a migraine – with symptoms including blurred vision – still felt it was safe to drive, while 52 per cent of those with eye infections said they’d be happy to risk a trip on the roads.

A further breakdown of the results showed that just under one in three (29 per cent) said they’d only drive for journeys they would describe as necessary, for example taking the kids to school. While around quarter (23 per cent) of people said they’d still carry on with their daily tasks, like going to the supermarket, when feeling unwell.


Ryan Dignan from Zuto said: “Many of us follow the weekly routine of driving to work, doing the school run and stocking up on groceries, but when illness hits, it’s vital that we pay attention to the effect it’s having on us.

“Taking to the roads with blurry vision or whilst distracted by pain is just as dangerous as the more obvious risks like speeding. We’re encouraging all drivers to start paying attention to those little things that can have a big effect.”