Driver Health is Key to Safety
Our Panama City personal injury lawyer knows that Panama City car accidents can have a myriad of causes. Safe driving involves making sure the vehicle is in working order and that the driver is able to devote his or her full attention to the responsibility of driving attentively.
The News Herald reported on a recent car crash in our area. Gary Brown, a 65-year-old resident of Panama City, lost consciousness while driving and crashed into a utility pole. The accident occurred while Brown was driving eastbound on U.S 98, in the area east of Hathaway Bridge near Los Antojitos. Gulf Power workers joined police and fire personnel in responding to the crash to address the cracked, splintered utility pole. Brown told officials that he had been experiencing blood sugar problems, reporting that he blacked out immediately prior to the crash. He was taken to Gulf Coast Medical Center after the crash. Thankfully, Brown was wearing his seatbelt and the airbag in his car successfully deployed.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recognized that diabetes can, in some cases, impair the ability of a driver to safely pilot a vehicle. When blood sugar levels are either too low or too high, a diabetic may feel dizzy or confused, become sleepy, experience blurred vision, and even lose consciousness. Uncontrolled diabetes can also cause long-term damage that impacts a patient's ability to drive, such as nerve damage or visual impairment.
Individuals with diabetes can often drive safely, but they should be vigilant about monitoring their condition to prevent complications from impacting the ability to drive safely. Diabetic individuals should also talk to their healthcare provider about safe driving. In general, diabetes patients should be sure their blood glucose levels are at a safe level before they get behind the wheel. Low glucose levels (hypoglycemia) can limit the ability of a driver to focus fully on the multiple tasks involved in safe driving. It can be helpful to keep snacks handy in case glucose levels drop to a dangerously low level. All individuals should have regular vision checks, but this is especially important for diabetics.
Of course, other health conditions can also impact the ability of an individual to drive. Epilepsy, sleep disorders, and fainting spells are just a sample of the health issues that might make driving unsafe if the condition is not well-controlled. Patients should talk to their doctor about how their condition may impact the ability to drive safely. If a condition makes driving unsafe, public transportation may be a good option. Some community centers also offer van pools, especially for senior citizens.
Safe, responsible driving means ensuring that the driver is mentally and physically capable of the task. Even short drives can be dangerous if the driver's health impairs his or her skill. It is important that drivers be honest with themselves about their ability to drive and that family and friends speak up if they believe a loved one's health means they should reconsider whether it is safe to drive.
Vigilance is key, but we know accidents can hurt even the most careful drivers. If you have been injured in a Panama City car crash as a result of someone else's negligence, please contact our experienced Panama City accident attorney. We can help you recover damages for your injury and financial losses.