Once you have your driver’s license, you’re free to drive whenever you like. It is strictly up to you to be a responsible motorist and follow all traffic laws. You cannot control what anyone else on the road does, but you can manage your actions in this regard.
You should understand that there are some health conditions that potentially make you a bad driver. If you have one of them or are in one of the following situations, you should not be driving.
Let’s talk about some times when you should think twice before getting behind the wheel.
It’s not exactly a health condition, but fatigue can have as much negative impact as driving while intoxicated. There are several potential reasons why you may feel fatigued. For instance:
- Insomnia might cause it
- Working too much can cause fatigue
- A stressful home situation can cause it
For instance, if you’re losing sleep because of Covid-19 concerns, the contentious presidential election, or the eviction crisis, then your attention might wander while you’re driving. You might even drift off for a second.
That’s dangerous, so you’ll need to make sure you’re wide awake and focused before you drive somewhere. If that means stopping for a hot coffee or a caffeinated soft drink, then so be it.
If you have alcoholism, then that’s another condition that means you’re potentially dangerous to other drivers and pedestrians. Medical professionals feel that if you’re physically dependent on alcohol, then that’s alcoholism. You also might deal with some psychological dependence to it.
If that’s happening with you, you’ll need to drink at some point during the day, or throughout the day. If so:
- You’re seldom completely sober
- You may have a baseline that’s over the legal limit
Alcoholics sometimes feel like they can drive when they’ve been drinking because they’re so used to doing it. Every time you do that, you’re taking a significant risk.
If you’re an alcoholic, then seek help. All it takes is one DUI to mess up your life and potentially injure or kill someone.
There are all kinds of different cancers, like prostate, breast, pancreatic, liver, and many more. You should get yourself checked out frequently, particularly if your family has a cancer history.
If you do have cancer and you’re undergoing chemotherapy, then it is probably going to leave you feeling weak and sick. You will not want to drive if you’re going through this treatment.
You need someone else to drive you around if you’re doing chemo. If a friend or relative isn’t available, you might take a ride share like Uber or Lyft.
Under no circumstances should you attempt to drive. You could easily pass out at the wheel or lose track of where you are for a moment. If that happens, you can cause a deadly accident.
Many individuals experience vision problems as they get older. Some have them even from a young age. Often, hereditary factors play a part.
If you’re losing your vision or it’s getting worse, then you shouldn’t drive unless you can take steps to correct the problem. You might feel embarrassed because you can’t see as well as you once did, but there’s no reason to feel that way.
The responsible thing to do is clearly to get corrective lenses or contacts. You also might look into corrective eye surgery.
Corrective eye surgery is safer now than it ever was in the past, and it helps some people a great deal. Until you can see, you need to seek alternate transportation. Again, you should look at ride shares, and perhaps cheaper public transportation options if you have some nearby.
You might feel that as long as you can see, then you can drive safely, but that is not necessarily so. If you’re having hearing problems or experiencing hearing loss, then you’re also dangerous when driving.
If you cannot hear the traffic that’s around you, then it’s disadvantageous for you. You can’t hear a pedestrian yelling at you or car horns honking. It’s not at all safe for you to drive, and it’s not safe for anyone to be in the car with you either.
You can look into getting hearing aids that should help you with your driving, and in other areas as well. You’ll be glad you got them if you can hear your relatives and friends again. You can listen to your favorite music, and you don’t have to crank the TV up to hear it when your favorite show is on.
As some people get older, they grapple with dementia. You might have a common variety or a more specific kind like Alzheimer’s Disease.
Dementia can devastate your life. You can easily get confused and forget where you are, what you’re doing, or even who you are. It’s easy to see why someone in that condition should not be driving.
If you try to drive with dementia, then you might forget what you’re doing right when you’re about to go through an intersection or as you’re trying to merge onto a highway. You can easily run your car off the road or hit someone before you regain control of yourself.
Depending on their condition, dementia patients sometimes have to give up driving. It’s inconvenient, but you may have to get rides from friends and family going forward. You can talk to your doctor about whether there’s a way for you to stay on the road, but in severe cases, you might have seen the end of your driving days.
These are far from the only conditions that make driving unsafe. You can work around some situations, while others are less hopeful.
If you’ve been driving for a long time, you probably do not want to give it up, but sometimes you must face reality. When you’re making the road a perilous place for yourself and others, you might have to give up those car keys for good.