THE flu season is upon us.

Close contact and office heating make the workplace a breeding ground for diseases.

If you’ve been affected by colds or flu this winter, you may have to think again before popping flu medication as you drive to and from work.

It’s dangerous, as side-effects of these medications may lead to drowsiness.

Managing director at MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, said while most drivers are aware of this, they underestimate the consequences.

“Fatigue associated with colds and flu can be a recipe for disaster. Various studies suggest that driving while fatigued is as dangerous as drinking and driving,” he said.

“Medication can reduce reaction time, increase drowsiness, and cause nausea and dizziness.

“If you experience these symptoms while driving, you place yourself in a dangerous position. Instead, refrain from taking any medication until you’ve arrived safely at the office.”

For those who drive for a living, like – salespeople or delivery drivers – this becomes complicated.

“If you’re on the road most of the time, there’s almost no scenario where it’s safe to take flu medication,” Eugene said.

He said employers and managers must be aware of the danger that employees who take flu medication pose on themselves and the company.

“If necessary, ensure they take sick leave recommended by their doctors and provide desk-bound duties for them to complete until they’re well enough to be back on the road.”

Reducing the number of accidents as a result of taking medication must form part of company policy.

“Your employees’ safety and well-being may depend on it,” Eugene said.