If you have seizures that alter your awareness, consciousness, or muscle control, you may not have the legal right to drive.
In general, the risk of having a seizure-related traffic accident is greatly reduced in people who have been seizure-free for 1 year. Driving may be safe before 1 year for some people. People who always have an aura before a seizure begins are also at reduced risk. The aura acts as a warning, which may give a driver time to pull over before the seizure begins. Auras are considered seizures, though, and may fall under the same guidelines for restricting driving privileges in your state.
Not taking antiepileptic medicine as prescribed (missing a dose, for instance) increases the risk of having an accident, so it is especially important to take medicine correctly, especially if you drive.
The laws about who can drive may seem unfair. Not having the legal right to drive may rob you of your sense of independence. It can limit your school and career choices, affect your social and leisure activities, and make basic needs of daily living harder to meet.
But the laws can also keep you and others safe until your seizures are under control. If you have a seizure while driving a car without a license and cause an accident, your insurance company may not cover damages or injuries. Worse, you may hurt or kill yourself or others.
You cannot predict when seizures will occur. Do not put yourself and others on the road at risk by driving without the legal right to do so.
Current as of: August 4, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Steven C. Schachter MD - Neurology
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