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View Poll Results: Are driving laws pertaining to epilepsy fair?
Yes 171 46.47%
No 124 33.70%
Not sure 73 19.84%
Voters: 368. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 09-07-2007, 09:20 AM
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I stopped driving before I was diagnosed because of problems I had stemming from my brain injury. I have since found out that many of those problems were actually seizures.

I don't drive because of my distraction problems and slow response time caused by my tbi. I definitely don't want to drive when my seizures aren't under firm control. Besides getting in a crash, what if I was driving through a parking lot, had a complex partial, and ran over a child?

I don't have plans to drive anytime soon, but I am glad I haven't lost my license. My neurologist just told me not to drive and left it at that. I don't have to renew my license 'till 2010, so I have some time. I want my license for now so I can take my daughter out with her learners permit.

I am not sure what I think about the laws. I do know I don't want someone with uncontrolled seizures driving on the same road that my daughter is learning to drive on.
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  #22  
Old 09-12-2007, 12:48 PM
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As with ANY disability, I would like to see it more in the hands of the 'specialists' as to the determination of whether or not an individual is or is not fit to be behind the wheel. I do not believe blanket restrictions such as 'be seizure free 6 months and then you're gold' are sound. What about 6 months + 1 day when someone who definitely SHOULD NOT drive is given a license has an accident? Or, when someone who only seizes during a bout of severe illness was seizure-free for years---has a bad illness and is bed-ridden(not driving mind you!)---and has that rare seizure causing them to lose their ability to drive and care for themselves normally? It just doesn't make any sense!

Great topic...love this forum!
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  #23  
Old 09-19-2007, 12:09 PM
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I had a seizure while driving in March and after 1 month I finally started driving again. I then had another seizure back in Aug. Since then I have not gotten behind the wheel. It stinks but like you said, I don't think it's fair to put other peoples lives in danger. Thanks.

Sam
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  #24  
Old 09-20-2007, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by POSITIVEPERSON View Post:
I am one of those who thinks its better to be safe than sorry. How would you feel if
hurt someone while driving because of the epilepsy? I couldn't live with myself. Szs change
as you age ,so you never know.

I never drove a car , I always lived with their was public transportation.
It never bothered me that I didn't drive ,for the first half of my life it was my choice ,because I was controlled.

WELCOME TO THE BOARD WALLY!!

Riva
I feel exactly the same way, Riva. Not being able to drive is annoying and I do feel the lack of freedom at times, but the inconvenience to me is a lot better than killing someone else or myself. My epilepsy has never been fully controlled, but even if it was I think I would still have the 'what if' factor in the back of my head.
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  #25  
Old 09-29-2007, 10:56 AM
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My seizures types have changed dramatically over the past 12-15 years. The past 10 have come during my period and during the dream state REM very early in the AM. I stay away from the wheel early in the morning, until after I have done my Yoga, had breakfast, and after I have taken my Dilantin for the AM. I definately think twice before getting behind a wheel. Once I'm behind the wheel, I think 3-4 times. Bern and I have agreed that I can go around town, but he has been gracious enough to drive me long distances. I have a great man!
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Love, Stace

Woohoo! My childrens book got published!
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  #26  
Old 09-29-2007, 12:51 PM
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I agree Stace...he's a helluva guy. I'm lucky enough to have a wonderful cargiving wife who let's me drive as long as I go through the required 'checks' as well.

To anyone reading this thread who might immediately jump on the 'no way should a person with the history of epilepsy EVER get behind the wheel'...I would reiterate what I mentioned before:
  • I believe generic law(s) can't be 'fair' to such a widely differientiated populus of epilepic cases.
  • I think 'legality' questions should be answered by directly looking into the doctor/patient relationships that foster 'proof of care/treatment' and on-going documentation of 'patient history'. In other words, our personal physicians know us better than the legislative branch does.
I will never get behind the wheel in a situation that leans itself towards a low seizure threshhold...or when I even just have a bad 'spidey-sense' about it (which I can honestly say rarely ever happens). By the same token, I'm very lucky to be an epileptic who now only suffers from occasional seizures (albeit BIG NASTY ONES) that occur at night during bouts of illness AND stress combined....lucky me, right? Anyway, my epilepsy in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM is interfering with driving except in its legality issues and the aforementioned times that I, myself, won't drive due to personal feelings and ethics. My epileptologist backs me up in spirit, but has hands tied of course...not to mention doctors are obviously afraid of lawyers.

I would hazard a guess that a responsible epileptic might be MORE safety conscious than your non-afflicted individual, simply due to the fact a person with no 'afflictions' can allow themselves to be 'carefree'...which can often result in 'careless'. I used to be a volunteer firefighter and had seen many cases of just that.

Epileptics are peeps 2
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  #27  
Old 10-07-2007, 09:47 AM
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I have a real dilemma about this one. My seizures only come in clusters; I get a whole bunch over a couple of days, which only happen every couple of months or so. So I know I shouldn't even think of driving during those times.

The rest of the time, I'm fine, and yes, I do ride on a motorcycle during warm months. Also, I do get enough of a warning to pull off road. Problem is, while it's relatively easy to pull off (except on downhills), what the hell am I going to say to the cop who checks me out there? I can't admit what's happening and have to make up some story. (This stress actually exacerbates the intensity of possible seizure, so ironically the illegality of what I'm doing makes me more likely to be triggered.)

I will say I drive far more carefully than the average driver, keeping within posted speed limits. I tend to go on less traveled secondary highways. I've heard this is true of other persons with seizure problems.

One dilemma about these "window periods" is, say, you get one petit seizure and it gets around to BIG BROTHER, so technically you're supposed to turn in your license. I can't be quite upfront with medical people and I can't be upfront with a cop at all. Anyway, that one little seizure makes you ineligible to drive. It might have been the first seizure you've had in years, and the last one you'll have for years. And, if within the next year, you get one more you have to wait another very long time.

Interesting thing about this is I've heard 25% of population have had some kind of seizures in their lifetime. Technically, each of these people have to stop driving. As someone above remarked, people with heart conditions or other health problems which can cause abrupt inability to handle the wheel are NOT restricted. What's that all about?

In any case, my own chances of getting into an accident are probably equal to, say, flying off the road with a tire blowout, having the chain snap, or someone coming fast from the right and smashing into me. Driving is scary enough as it is, why make it more scary by bring legality into it.

I sometimes wish I could move to another country where they have trains everywhere. This country sucks as far as mass transportation goes. Unfortunately, there's lots of other places one would want to go besides errands and commuting. And there's lots of jobs that don't hire someone without a car. Sometimes I have to get away from all this stuff; my own thing is going to hiking trails and being in harmony with nature. Without that, I would go crazy and even more triggered to have possible seizures.

Some people have family/friend networks to get them around. I don't have that. I'm all by my lonesome self and have to survive.
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  #28  
Old 10-07-2007, 10:29 AM
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I feel for ya...I really do.

Better 'mass transit' would help a lot of things in this world...but there's some 'acts of Congress' needed, right?

I wonder...was there an outbreak of epileptics involved in car accidents that caused these laws against us driving? It makes me ponder sci-fi films and such to consider the possibility.
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  #29  
Old 10-07-2007, 07:59 PM
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Nala,
Yep, that would pretty much be my son (nocturnal seizures). He did drive with restrictions until a year ago when he started having break through seizures in the day due to all of the med changes. He hasn't had a seizure while being awake in a long time, but I haven't reminded him of that. I don't want to get into that discussion just yet. YKwim?
Marian
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  #30  
Old 10-07-2007, 10:43 PM
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Spebar,

Speaking of sci-fi, here's one for you: Why can't they invent cars that can drive themselves. Just punch in a destination and enjoy the ride! With computerized gadgetry and using mapping programs, I bet it's right around the corner. Another idea: Hook up electrodes to your car that measure your EEG; when a seizure is coming, car pulls over for a stop.

I work at a disability independent living center. I've seen some pretty fancy wheelchairs and very elaborate vans for people who say, have no legs or can't control hands well. (How they manage to get license I don't know.) I've even heard of cars being driven by gradriplegics with fancy devices that are controlled by eye movement. So why aren't they going the same way for epileptics?

Finally, let's bring back the horse!
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  #31  
Old 10-08-2007, 08:05 AM
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I like the horse idea! Grew up working a horse ranch. Now, with such a need for 'green', 'earth-friendly' transportation---I think you may be on to something here.

But you know....there'll soon be horse-riding laws to follow



had to use that one ya know!.....
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  #32  
Old 10-08-2007, 08:47 AM
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A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
and no one can talk to a horse of course
That is, of course, unless the horse
is the famous Mr. Ed.

Go right to the source and ask the horse
he'll give you the answer that you'll endorse.
He's always on a steady course.
Talk to Mr. Ed

People yakkity yak a streak and waste
your time of day
But Mister Ed will never speak unless he
has something to say.

A horse is a horse, of course, of course,
and this one'll talk 'til his voice is hoarse.
You never heard of a talking horse?
Well listen to this.
"I am Mister Ed."
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  #33  
Old 10-15-2007, 10:21 AM
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  #34  
Old 10-23-2007, 07:05 AM
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Sorry to drag up an old subject, but as I'm new here I just wanna put my two-pennyworth in.

When I was back in my late teens, early twenties the law over here stated that you must go 2 years seizure free before you're granted a license. At the time I was managing 1.5 years without having one !

By the time I reached my mid twenties, the law had changed and dropped the period to 1 year.

Like many other's on here have put, I'm in total disagreement with the laws for driving with epilepsy, especially for ones like me (not being selfish) who just have nocturnal epilepsy, plus auras which allow me to "know" when it's gonna happen and get prepared.

It really bugs me when I watch documentaries on TV about people who have other disabilities such as "no arms !", and they're granted licenses - no problem.

How can the laws differ so much between States and Countries for a subject which clearly affects the sufferers in the same way ? <scratching head>

The law over here also clearly states that SHOULD you be granted a licence, you will NOT be able to drive public transport, or Heavy Goods Vehicles......which is fair enough I suppose.

Sorry to sound like a moaner, but I just needed to get that off my chest. I'll now step off the soap-box

Oh, one more thing - how many off you are willing (or have) to lie to your Doctor about NOT having any seizures for the relevant period to get that licence ?
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  #35  
Old 10-23-2007, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by TeeTees View Post:
Sorry to drag up an old subject, but as I'm new here I just wanna put my two-pennyworth in.

When I was back in my late teens, early twenties the law over here stated that you must go 2 years seizure free before you're granted a license. At the time I was managing 1.5 years without having one !

By the time I reached my mid twenties, the law had changed and dropped the period to 1 year.

Like many other's on here have put, I'm in total disagreement with the laws for driving with epilepsy, especially for ones like me (not being selfish) who just have nocturnal epilepsy, plus auras which allow me to "know" when it's gonna happen and get prepared.

It really bugs me when I watch documentaries on TV about people who have other disabilities such as "no arms !", and they're granted licenses - no problem.

How can the laws differ so much between States and Countries for a subject which clearly affects the sufferers in the same way ? <scratching head>

The law over here also clearly states that SHOULD you be granted a licence, you will NOT be able to drive public transport, or Heavy Goods Vehicles......which is fair enough I suppose.

Sorry to sound like a moaner, but I just needed to get that off my chest. I'll now step off the soap-box

Oh, one more thing - how many off you are willing (or have) to lie to your Doctor about NOT having any seizures for the relevant period to get that licence ?
its been for me i think its hard to remember about a year since ive been able to drive....the more i think about how stupid i was when it came to driving .... i was 19 or 20 (went off meds when i was 14 ...)im back on meds now...
I was driving up a hill at the top was a stop light I remember waking up and the car was rolling backwards... i put my foot on the break.. i must have been out for just a few seconds.... scared the crap outta me.... luckily no one was behind me at the time... I guess what I'm trying to say is i know its hard not to drive but you can never really for sure tell whats going to happen even when you do have a warning.....
love angel
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  #36  
Old 10-23-2007, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by angel View Post:
its been for me i think its hard to remember about a year since ive been able to drive....the more i think about how stupid i was when it came to driving .... i was 19 or 20 (went off meds when i was 14 ...)im back on meds now...
I was driving up a hill at the top was a stop light I remember waking up and the car was rolling backwards... i put my foot on the break.. i must have been out for just a few seconds.... scared the crap outta me.... luckily no one was behind me at the time... I guess what I'm trying to say is i know its hard not to drive but you can never really for sure tell whats going to happen even when you do have a warning.....
love angel
I'm not willing to lie to my doctor about my seizures auras... "the thought has crossed my mind " tho
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  #37  
Old 10-23-2007, 08:37 PM
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Driving Laws


When my E first started, I lived in NV, and it's 1 month after a seizure before you can drive. I worked long hours for a car dealership, and had to drive for work. I moved back east to PA for family reasons, and it's 6 months after a seizure before you can drive. My neurologist here agrees that 6 months is too long, but he says he doesn't make the laws, he just has to enforce them. Obtaining and keeping insurance is harder here too, it was easier and cheaper to buy insurance month to month in NV too. I hate the cold, humid weather on the east coast too, my E has exploded since I've been here. My neurologist thinks I should move away from here too.
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  #38  
Old 10-28-2007, 08:19 PM
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hello,

i am not sure to the driving laws that you have in the the country or state that you reside in, I live in Australia.

I do have a medical defined licence I have to have regular evaluations to whether i can continue to hold it.

i do think that the rules ae not flexible, as i do not know any to people with the same frequencys meds and severity, so why in that case does every one to squeeze into the same one rule a circle does not fit into a square.

maybe they too need better education and allow the medical professionals to put limitaions or allow people to have a nocondtions licence as they no more then the person who is sitting behind the desk at the motor registry..
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  #39  
Old 10-31-2007, 10:05 AM
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Thumbs up


In my case, it is a necessary evil. I have no warning I'm going to have a seizure. About 17 yrs ago, I left my apt for work, I remember coming to the first light and making a left turn. I then had emerency personnel pulling me from my car. I drove my Geo Metro, going 40 mph, into the back of a delivery truck stopped at a red light. I was told if my car had gone 3 in further, I would not have my head. I will live with the laws.
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  #40  
Old 11-01-2007, 11:47 AM
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This is my first time to post on this website. But, when I read this discussion, I felt that I needed to tell you about my experience. I live in Texas, where the restrictions on epilepsy drivers are nonexistent. They do have a 6 month seizure free requirement, but the physicians are not allowed to inform the DPS. So, the majority of all epileptics drive.

I was no exception to the rule. I was 21 (7 years ago) and was driving to class for my first semester of graduate school. I had auras that warned me of an oncoming seizure about a minute in advance, but shortly before this incident I had a VNS system implanted that took away my warning device. In a busy intersection, I had a seizure and proceeded to drive a sports car 120 mph for about 3 1/2 miles. I had partial complex seizures that still enabled me to continue doing simple tasks, but just not the way they needed to be done. I zig-zagged through traffic, but at a high speed. I eventually rolled my car 6-8 times and shattered my right leg. No one else was injured. It is a miracle I survived--in fact, news stations were reporting that I was dead bc no one could possibly survived such an accident. Even my mom was called to tell her I had passed away. I did not die, but I was in a wheelchair for 4 years and had 20 operations on my right leg. I also had 2 reckless driving charges and 5 traffic tickets. To this day I suffer with severe arthritis and limited mobility in my right leg. I have been told that I will someday be immobilized to a wheelchair permanently.

I know it is challenging to not drive. I had to do it for 5 years. My boyfriend/now husband drove me everywhere. I live in a town with no public transportation. I will tell you that when you use this argument, you should think about the consequences of not driving---life in a wheelchair, outrageous medical bills for an accident, lawsuits, etc, etc. Maybe I should post a picture of my wreck as reason why NOT to drive.

As I read through your posts, I think to myself, "these people sound just like me prior to my accident." I justified driving for 5 years prior to my accident. Even had doctors tell me that it was in my best interest to drive. Only after my accident, can I tell you that it is not in the best interest for an epileptic to drive. I had "control" of my seizures, but not enough to drive a car. A car is a deadly weapon.

I am now seizure free thinks to brain surgery years ago. I have been driving since I was seizure free for one year post surgery.

I just wanted to tell my story in hopes of maybe preventing someone else from walking, or not walking, in my shoes.

Katy
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