Driving with a cold could seriously damage your licence

Man sneezing
It is that time of year when we're all feeling a bit under the weather, but new research could make those with a cold think twice before reaching for their car keys.

According to new findings by Halfords and insurance company Young Marmalade, driving with a blocked nose can be as bad as having four double whiskies, then getting behind the wheel.

Basically, they found that a cold can slow down a driver's reaction times and that sudden braking can become much more frequent, in the same way drink driving can.

To collect this data on driving behaviour, a 'black box' was fitted in the car that monitored speed, cornering and braking. The findings concluded that the quality of someone's driving drops by 50% when they have a cold.

Commenting on the survey, Nigel Lacy, Co Founder of Young Marmalade said: "This small-scale trial provides a warning for motorists; a heavy cold can impair a driver's mood, concentration and judgement."

Halfords Winter Driving Expert Mark Dolphin went on to add: "You shouldn't drive if you are not feeling well. The best place to be when you have flu or a heavy cold is at home, but if you really must go out, get someone else to take you and avoid driving."

If this evidence wasn't conclusive enough, the Police have warned that drivers getting behind the wheel while suffering from a heavy cold could be prosecuted. With many over the counter medications causing drowsiness that will hamper driving ability.

The Police warn, that if you are stopped and judged unfit to drive, then you've committed the same offence as someone who had driven on illegal drugs such as cocaine.