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London, Feb 15: Sneezing, searching for a tissue and blowing nose are to be blamed for 2,500 accidents a week in winter, a survey has revealed.

Researchers said that getting behind the wheel when bunged up with a cold is far more dangerous than drivers realise.

It's most hazardous on the motorway as drivers can travel 50ft with their eyes closed during a sneeze, the Daily Mail reported.

Drivers are advised to leave an extra four car lengths for braking to accommodate the increase in stopping distance.

The study, from Halfords Autocentres, showed that 9 percent of the 2.6 million drivers on Britain's roads admitted to taking their eyes off the road due to a cold or flu.

PC Steve Rounds, of the Central Motorway Police Group said that drivers feeling unwell should stay at home and not put other road users at risk.

"Sneezing can be very violent, causing the sufferer to close their eyes temporarily, especially with a severe cold," he said.

"Driving a car with such symptoms would certainly be irresponsible and could be held as an aggravating factor in any accident that led to a death or serious injury, laying the driver open to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving," he added.

Halfords Autocentres found almost 40 percent of people had struggled into work when they had felt sick - resulting in nearly a quarter of drivers feeling unwell whilst at the wheel during the winter months.

Rory Carlin from Halfords Autocentres, added icy conditions made driving even more hazardous.

He emphasized that proper maintenance of both brakes and tyres are vital to ensuring your vehicle can stop as quickly as possible when you need it to. (ANI)

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