Do you usually feel that your surrounding is spinning or moving around you? You likely have vertigo. It’s considered a symptom of a medical condition. Vertigo can be mild or severe that can affect your balance and your performance in your everyday tasks.
For instance, if you’re driving a motorcycle and your vertigo attacks, you’re at a high risk of getting into an accident. You might hurt pedestrians and other motorists. And when this happens, you need to talk to a New Jersey motorcycle accident attorney to help you check your legal options.
So, what can you do when vertigo attacks while driving?
Causes And Manifestations Of Vertigo
Before tackling the main topic, it’s important to know the common causes and the accompanying signs and symptoms of vertigo to get the right medical intervention.
As mentioned, vertigo isn’t a disease itself. Some of the most common medical conditions causing vertigo include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, labyrinthitis, and Meniere’s disease. Also, head injuries, stroke, medications, and migraines can cause vertigo. The risk factors of vertigo include being a woman older than 50, a family history of vertigo, and a history of head injury.
Vertigo is associated with an inner ear or vestibular system problem. The inner ear plays an important role in keeping your balance. Inner ear disorders, like inflammation of the labyrinth or labyrinthitis, cause the brain to obtain false signals from the inner ear, causing a feeling of extreme dizziness or vertigo.
The common accompanying signs and symptoms of vertigo include the following:
- Balance problems
- Difficulty focusing the eyes
- On-ear hearing loss
- Ringing in the ears
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weak limbs
- Double vision
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty swallowing or dysphagia
- Facial paralysis
What To Do When Vertigo Attacks While Driving
Here are the important things you need to do when your vertigo attacks while you’re driving:
1. Slow Down
Reduce the speed of your vehicle even with a slight dizziness. Never compromise your safety and everyone else on the road because of ignoring this sign. A sudden stop can worsen your vertigo attack, so make sure to slow down gradually.
2. Pull Over
When you have a vertigo attack while driving, you should pull over. If you continue driving, you might end up hurting other people. When you get too dizzy, you might lose grip of your car’s steering wheel or lose your driving balance, especially on a motorcycle. It can cause serious vehicle accidents like a rollover or head-on collision.
3. Let Another Person Drive
Trauma injuries from vehicular incidents have brought more than two million people to the emergency room department in one year. So, don’t be one of the victims of car accidents. It’s essential to prioritize your safety than reaching your destination by insisting on driving.
You can call someone you trust to drive you home or get a ride with a family relative or friend when vertigo attacks. Also, you can use public transportation, take a cab, or use a ride-share app if you can’t find a ride.
4. Don’t Continue Heading A Difficult Road
Certain roads are harder to drive through such as roads without a shoulder to pull over. Another example is a single-lane road along the edge of a lake. Don’t continue driving on mountain passes because large expansive landscape without signs and landmarks can cause disorientation. So, if you feel dizzy, it’s best to avoid heading on these roads.
5. Call Important People
You should call the significant people who can help you when vertigo attacks to ensure your safety on the road and assist you when an accident occurs.
- Call The Emergency Response Team: Call 911 or the emergency response team immediately when vertigo attacks while driving and you suspect hitting someone or something on the road. You might have sustained injuries you’re not even fully aware of because of your condition. It’s important to have first aid responders to help you and any motorist involved in an accident.
- Call Your Lawyer: When you’re finally safe and settled, you may contact your lawyer to handle the legalities for you. The law has provisions that prohibit people who have medical conditions that can impair safe driving to drive like vertigo. So, it’s important to talk to your lawyer about these matters.
- Call Your Doctor: Also, call your doctor to get a vertigo assessment and treatment. Never ignore the accompanying signs and symptoms of vertigo.
How To Handle A Vertigo Attack After Treatment
You can resume driving once you’ve obtained clearance from your healthcare provider after your vertigo treatment. While you feel better and ready to drive, it’s important to take extra precautions while driving to avoid vertigo attacks.
Here are the important things you need to remember when driving after vertigo treatment:
Be Cautious On Stop Signs:
When at a stop sign, avoid moving your head too quickly from one side to another. Instead, move your head slowly to avoid the side-to-side motion from triggering your dizziness. If you still feel dizzy at this point, then have someone bring you home or better commute.
Check Your Blind Spot:
After vertigo treatment, be cautious when changing lanes by looking over your shoulder to assess for a blind spot. Some people still feel nauseous or dizzy when doing it. So, make sure that sudden turns when looking over your shoulder or back aren’t causing you another vertigo attack.
Avoid checking your phone, setting the volume or signal of your stereo, or eating while driving. All of these things can trigger vertigo.
Take Extra Precautions:
You can set up additional mirrors in your car to minimize your head movements while driving. Adjust your side, front, and rear-view mirrors for maximum road visibility and to avoid blind spots.
When vertigo attacks while driving, you might feel slight dizziness progressing. If you’ve already been diagnosed with vertigo, slow down gradually and pull over to a safe area. Call somebody to assist you and never continue driving. Avoid driving on difficult roads, especially if you’re on a motorcycle because you might get into an accident if your vertigo attacks.