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Driving With Epilepsy

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Updated August 19, 2008

Unmanaged epilepsy and driving a car do not mix, since it can place you and others in danger when you get behind the wheel.

Driving is an integral part in any adult’s life. Many of us are dependent upon driving for our jobs, social gatherings, or to do everyday errands. But when your seizures are not under full control, you may be faced with many new challenges including not being able to drive. This can create discomfort -– and inconvenience -- for individuals in their daily life. People with unmanageable seizures are restricted from driving. In the event that a seizure occurs while driving, they could endanger their life as well as the lives of others.

Each state has designed specific regulations for individuals driving with epilepsy. Some states may require you to be seizure-free for a specific amount of time before they will allow you to drive, whereas other states may require your neurologist to report your health status to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state.

Your healthcare provider will manage and follow you over the period of time regarding your condition. If you are seizure-free on and off of the medications over the period of time and the state's law of your residing allow you to drive you may choose to do so. To find out the laws in your state, contact your state's Department of Motor Vehicles.

If you are not able to drive, you can still take advantage of ways to get around. Hire a car service or taxi to take you to your job, help you run errands or take you to your destination. Or get a ride from a friend or family member.

Sources:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/epilepsy.html. Accessed: 18 August 2008.

The Epilepsy Foundation: www.epilepsyfoundation.org. Accessed: 18 August 2008.

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