Security and Safety

To Drive or Not to Drive

By James Mayfield 4.17.15

Knowing when not to drive could be just as critical as knowing how to drive. According to Injury Facts 2014, 30.8 percent of automobile fatalities were caused by alcohol consumption and 26 percent by distracted driving during that year.

Beyond this dangerous pair, there are other reasons and times you should consider not getting behind the wheel of a car.

  • Drowsy Driving: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributes 83,000 vehicle crashes a year to drivers who are drowsy. “Sleep deprivation can be as bad as alcohol consumption in how it affects our reflexes and critical thinking ability,” says Steve Hartgrove, Harris County Texas Farm Bureau Insurance agency manager. “Getting enough sleep could save your life and the lives of others.”
  • Medications: Driving under the influence of prescription drugs and other medications can impair driving just as much as alcohol or illegal drugs can. “Some medications and supplements may cause a variety of reactions that may make it more difficult for you to drive a car safely,” Hartgrove says. “These reactions may include blurred vision, dizziness, slowed movement, fainting, inability to focus or pay attention, and nausea.”
  • Bad News: We all have tough days and have received bad (or very bad) news on occasion. If you’ve just been laid off from a job or get word of a loved one’s passing for example, your focus on the road is probably not what it needs to be. If at all possible, it’s best to keep from driving anywhere upon hearing the news.
  • Argument: Disagreements between people happen, but if you let yourself get behind the wheel when you’re angry, you could wind up speeding, driving erratically, or making bad decisions. Best to leave your car in park until you have time to cool off or resolve the issue that got you worked up in the first place.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2015 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance