Neurological conditions and driving
Safe driving requires a number of intact neurological functions including judgement, memory, coordination and concentration. Impairment of any of these functions may affect driving ability, and even possibly induce seizures. All drivers diagnosed with a neurological condition are legally required to notify the Registrar of Motor Vehicles as soon as practicable.
Neurological conditions which may affect driving include:
- Parkinson's disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cerebral Palsy
- Brain injuries
How do these conditions affect driving ability?
- Loss of cognitive ability such as memory capacity, attention, visual functions, reaction time and insight.
- Possible onset of a seizure, resulting in loss of limb control and the vehicle
- Possible risk of aneurysms and haemorrhage
What are the symptoms?
- Confusion and fatigue
- Reduced muscular power and coordination
- Loss of vision
- Seizures and loss of consciousness
What precautions can I take?
- Consult with your doctor regularly to ensure that you are safe to drive.
- Pay particular attention to the symptoms you are experiencing. If you are experiencing difficulty with your vision, hearing, reaction speed, coordination or attentiveness, you may need to re-assess your driving skills.
- Ensure you are taking any medication prescribed to you when required.
- Ensure that you are well rested before driving
- If you are prone to seizures, avoid circumstances and substances that are known to increase your risk of an episode.
For more information see the following publications:
Epilepsy and driving http://www.epilepsy.org.au/sites/default/files/Seizure%20Smart%20-%20Driving.pdf
Dementia and driving http://www.fightdementia.org.au/common/files/NAT/2012_NAT_HS_INFO_04_Driving.pdf
Parkinson's disease and driving http://www.parkinson.org/Parkinson-s-Disease/Living-Well/Activities-of-Daily-Living/Driving-with-PD