Nothing is worse than being sick behind the wheel, but is a flu shot the answer?
This year’s strain of the flu is expected to be just as aggressive as the 2014-2015 outbreak, which caused an estimated 56,000 deaths. Flu season runs from October through May, so taking the time to get a flu shot could still be worth your while.
Here’s what you need to know to help you decide whether to get the flu shot this year.
- Driving with the flu is equivalent to driving drunk. Even without grog-inducing flu medication taken into effect, driving with the flu is a real danger. British researchers found that driving with the flu slows reaction times by 11% — the equivalent of a double shot of whiskey.
- Over the counter remedies increase drowsiness. If you do get sick, you’ll likely turn to an over the counter medication to power through your run. Researchers have confirmed what most people already know — that over the counter flu medication can increase drowsiness — a side effect that no truck driver can afford.
- This strain of the flu hits people in their 50s and 60s the hardest.
- Sooner is better than later. If you’re on the fence about the flu shot this year, keep in mind that the vaccine takes two weeks to kick in. The longer you wait, the more time you’ll spend at risk of getting sick.
- You don’t have to get an injection. This year, needle-phobes can choose a “jet injector” which is a needle-free alternative, though it may leave your arm as sore as a traditional injection. You can also choose the nasal spray — the most popular alternative to the traditional injection.
- In most cases, your flu shot will be covered by private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.