We all know that drinking and driving is dangerous. The same is true about driving while under the influence of certain drugs including prescription medications. But, most people are not aware that certain medical conditions can impair driving ability. For instance, individuals diagnosed with epilepsy need to have their seizures well-controlled and meet certain criteria before they can be medically cleared for driving. Likewise, diabetics must carefully monitor their blood sugar or they can present a serious risk on the roadways. (In fact, one of our lawyers has successfully secured a seven-figure settlement in a car accident caused by a diabetic blackout.) And now, we are learning that individuals with significant hypothyroidism can experience impaired driving similar to that of a driver under the influence of alcohol.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which an individual produces insufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone. The condition is fairly common and it can impair a number of bodily functions including brain function. According to a study recently released by the International Society of Endocrinology, untreated hypothyroid patients placed in a driving simulator performed similar to drivers with blood alcohol concentrations above the legal limits. Like any other medical condition, hypothyroid patients should talk to their doctor and ensure they are receiving appropriate medicine to combat the deficient levels of thyroid hormone so they do not present a risk on the roadways.
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