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How a common ailment may contribute to car accidents

Most Delaware residents are probably familiar with the common causes of car accidents: drunk driving, texting and driving and other forms of distracted driving. In addition to these well-known causes, certain medical conditions and medications can also dangerously impair a driver. In some car accidents, the impaired driver may be found liable for a collision caused by their impaired state. One disease whose ability to cause unsafe driving may surprise some: diabetes.

While perhaps not as obviously risky as drunk driving, a potentially severe medical ailment can lead to serious problems on the road. Many diabetics must take insulin routinely, but the wrong amount of this medication, or even just skipping a meal, can spur a negative reaction in a driver. These reactions can include convulsions, blackouts or even shock. The time period when an insulin dose is being adjusted by one's physician can be particularly dangerous; individuals encountering new doses may benefit themselves and others by not driving during these times.

Those who don't suffer from diabetes might also be surprised to learn that the condition can affect one's vision. Night blindness is one concern, and can prove hazardous for drivers who can't see well after the sun goes down. Diabetes can also cause other vision problems, so it's important for those with diabetes to have their eyesight checked on a regular basis.

According to the American Diabetes Association, over nine percent of the U.S. population suffered from diabetes in 2012. Moreover, that same year over 85 million Americans had prediabetes, which means they may soon be added to the ranks of diabetics. While most diabetics will probably not get in an accident, the possibility for their condition to interfere with their driving - and even cause serious injury - is unfortunately a concern.

In Delaware and surrounding states, all drivers have a responsibility to obey the rules of the road and exercise caution while behind the wheel. For some, this may include managing their health as it relates to their ability to operate a motor vehicle. An experienced personal injury attorney can offer guidance to those who have suffered injury in an auto accident caused by another driver's negligence.

Source: Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles, "Your Health: Diabetes," accessed July 5, 2015

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Murphy & Landon

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