According to study in The American Journal of Medicine, has found a strong correlation between drivers who have passed on taking vaccinations on COVID-19 and higher vehicle collision risk levels – a finding that insurers could use to justify higher auto insurance rates, the researchers have suggested.
The researchers during summer examined the government-held records of over 11 million adults, finding that 16% of them had not received the COVID vaccine.
Unvaccinated individuals were 72% more likely to be involved in a severe car collision (defined as an accident where at least one person was transported to the hospital) than those who received the vaccine. This risk level is akin to the increased risk of car crashes for drivers with sleep apnea.
As driving activity slowly returns to pre-pandemic levels, many auto insurers have cautioned that distracted driving would be an emerging concern.
64% of drivers have identified distracted driving as their biggest risk factor, followed by driving under the influence of alcohol (57%) and drugs (44%), and aggressive driving (52%).
The excess risk of collisions that unvaccinated drivers have exceeds the safety gains from modern automobile engineering advances and also imposes risks on other road users.
While refusing the vaccine does not automatically mean that someone will be involved in a crash, Rather, it was theorized that those who resist public health recommendations might also neglect basic road safety guidelines.
The authors have suggested potential reasons for such behaviour, including a distrust of the government, a belief in freedom, misconceptions, faith in “natural protection,” antipathy toward regulation, misinformation, poverty, and personal beliefs.
Because the findings are significant, primary care doctors should consider counselling unvaccinated patients on traffic safety. The insurers might base changes to insurance policies based on a policyholder’s vaccination status.
The findings suggest that unvaccinated adults need to be careful indoors with other people and outside with surrounding traffic. But there is more to driving issues than just drivers’ vaccination statuses.