Do you think driving laws are fair with regards to epilepsy?

Are driving laws pertaining to epilepsy fair?

  • Yes

    Votes: 162 45.6%
  • No

    Votes: 121 34.1%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 72 20.3%

  • Total voters

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I know most everyone hates losing their freedom and legal driving privileges, but are driving laws restricting folks who have had a seizure a necessary evil?
Some of the laws I have read
in various States are a little absurd and too rigid.

Considering the facts:

* People who are 70, 80, 90, 100 years old
* People who have critical medical condition
* People who have cardiac conditions or other
known medical conditions that can put other
people's lives in jeopardy are far more at risk
than those who have Epilepsy.
* People who are taking / consuming numerous
medications (I'm not talking about 3-4 pills a
a day, I'm talking about 10-30 pills a day)

And yet, they cause accidents and/or trigger accidents
continually, and yet, they drive and drive and drive,
and their driving privileges aren't even touched.


They don't dare touch their licenses because they're
"considered as 'voters' ...." to quote what I had read
in several places.

Then you have these facts:

* Known Alcoholics
* Known Substance Abuse Users (illegal / recreational druggies)
* Known Mentally Ill People
* People driving with Revoked Licenses

Who are just as dangerous and have caused more
accidents and deaths than a person with Epilepsy.

My Record? 0 Accidents, 0 Points, 100% flawless.

I've been hit by drunks, druggies, elderly people,
drivers with no or revoked licenses, youths on joy riding,
people who were on too many medications, who had
a medical conditions, road rage, mentally ill, and the
list goes on.

I have yet to hit anyone, and I have Epilepsy, and
in my State, it is totally up to the Neurologist or the
Epileptologist's recommendation and they are not required
to report it.

But since my Neurological problems is progressive and I
knew for years there would be a time there would be an
end. But with honesty - not speaking on my behalf, but
from reading everywhere else ~ I would have to state it
is "unfair" in a lot of States and in some places, I would
have to state - "UNJUSTIFIED". However, some States,
are too lax, but then they're also very isolated - so there
is a balance, so you might say "it's lopsided".
I have a perfect driving record. Never a ticket, no accidents, and a preferred customer to insurance companys for over 35 years.

Here in Nevada you must be seizure free for 6 months. My epi dragged his ass about getting my paper work completed for an added 2 months.:mad: It finally got done because my father had taken ill and I had to do out of town.

I would like to see the DUI laws a bit tighter.

I would like to see the DUI laws a bit tighter.

Florida has RIGID DUI & DWI LAWS.
This is one place where people who get their first
DUI often flees out of State if they can't afford to
buy their way out (it's downright danged expensive
on your 1st offense - just imagine what your 2nd,
or 3rd offense would be like - :eek:)!
Well the driving laws could use some updating. All of them are outdated is several ways.

I've never experienced any seizure problems driving. When my seizures started to progress, I just stopped driving and kept my license. Why should I give up my license when it cost so much to get it in the first place. I just renew it when I have to. Once my condition changes, I'll drive again.
I think there are a lot of people in that boat - known seizure patterns or auras that allow them the ability to drive with minimal risk.
This has been an on going battle for so many years.. There are so many types of seizures and when they happen that it's hard to be real sure whats fair and whats not... I myself personally dont drive as I have too many grandmals sometimes one after the other. But then there are people that have seizures ONLY when they are sleeping.. so this is real hard to decide on.
This is the most frustrating thing about my situation. My seizures only occur in my sleep. Yet I can't drive for six months, even though my seizures are now controlled with medication. Don't even get me started about the drunk drivers! I suppose my seizures could start occuring during the day. Has anyone experienced this type of change? I apologize if this has allready been discussed elewhere. I am new to this site and this is my first post.
Hi Wally, welcome to the forums. :hello:

Yes, my wife has had her seizure pattern change several times from nocturnal only to morning only to unpredictable during the day and back and forth between them.

I think it is rare enough though that the risk is likely lower than many other possible health risks (heart attack, insulin/sugar shock, etc.).
This is the most frustrating thing about my situation. My seizures only occur in my sleep. Yet I can't drive for six months, even though my seizures are now controlled with medication. Don't even get me started about the drunk drivers! I suppose my seizures could start occuring during the day. Has anyone experienced this type of change? I apologize if this has allready been discussed elewhere. I am new to this site and this is my first post.

Welcome Wally! YES, in some States, you may
be permitted to drive if you suffer from Nocturnal
Seizures ONLY and do not suffer from any other
seizures during daytime and be restricted to
daytime driving only. This is what I have had for
many, many years.

Right now, I've surrendered my license because
my seizures are being wild and out of whack as
partially because I am "aging" or going through
"change of life" (menopause).

Please feel free to vent, post, or whatever!

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.


I grew up in NYC, with lots of public transportation. Saw all my friends get licenses, I never went for drivers ed, too scared. Before I was diagnosed with epilepsy, I went go kart riding and crashed into a hay stack. All the kids laughed. I was so humilated, I swore I would never drive. When I moved to Mtl, there was great public transportation their too. When I got married my husband thought I should know how to drive,I was scared plus my perception was not great. He gave up after awhile. lol Now we are in Portland Or, theirs good public transportation here too. I am sure I would have more freedom if I drove. But thats ok , I prefer not too.

Consider yourself FORTUNATE!

Down here - they're CUTTING Public
transportation, they have been for
quite some time and turning deaf ears
(pardon the pun) to complains and cries
from the public. Even the Bus Route that
used to be a frequent run just a few blocks
away is now extremely sporadic and just
recently my son received the word is getting
the "final axe" - so is going bye-bye.

Taxi and Private transportation cost a fortune!

This is one reason why I have a 27 speed
Trek Racing Bike (same as what Lance Armstrong
uses in Tour de France).
My husband drives a citibus for the handicapped, (since he took off time to help me,no one wants to hire an engineer who hasn't worked in a few yrs) he takes them to work,church,supermarkets, bars, restaurants, drs,etc. The company is thru out USA check out if its in your state ? The company name is laidlaw. They were impressed that he could take care of me and hired him . What a strange recommendation taking care of your wife while she had szs until she was stable?

Life is strange!!!

As far as I'm concerned, I think that people with Epilepsy should be able to drive if they are in control of themselves. There are times when there is no way you could get me behind the wheel of a car. Other times, I feel incredibly confident. Driving actually relaxes me and I am always 100% more careful than anyone else on the road. I do not do reckless things and I always observe what's going on around me. I've not been in a traffic accident except for the deer I hit coming home from a night class in college (12 years ago). It was a dark road and the deer ran into the forest, but it did take some paint off my bumper.

Something I have noticed, is when I have a myoclonic jerk, it always happens that one hand lets go of whatever I'm holding. My plan is to drive with two hands and I'll have a back up. I've never had this problem while driving, but I do have a plan. I've never even gotten out of my lane because of epilepsy. No worries here.
This is a very sore subject with me and if I get started I'll just get more pissed off.
I voted yes but I meant NO.
I have a serious issue with the fact that I've had 4 seizures in 28 years and had my licence revoked but other ppl with EP, Diabetes, Heart condition and soooo many other more serious probs. They get to drive and I can't.
How about all the ppl out there driving DUI or with an undiagnosed SEIZURE CONDITION.

Hi Randy, nice to see you again. :) I fixed the poll to reflect your vote for NO.
Oooo belated response, but this is something I recently discussed with a friend.

In Virginia, state law maintains that you must be seizure free for six months after an episode. In Colorado, it's three months. Personally, I agree more with six months. I need to dig around for a reference, but my first neurologist told me 85% of people who are going to have another seizure have it six months.

Even being seizure free for nearly six years, I am still not 100% comfortable driving. I avoid it when I can and when I can't, I do my best to bring someone along with me. But I have a story to tell.

I had my first seizure on Jan 1, 2000. Only 18 at the time, I was in my first year of college in a city a long ways away from any family. Luckily, I lived close to campus and could avoid the initial transportation issues. Didn't make it any easier. When I finally hit the six month mark, I bought a car and started a co-op. One hour commute one way (but well worth it). Then I had a seizure (due to not taking my meds properly). Young and dumb, while I didn't want to risk the drive to my job, I didn't want to give up my car for something I thought a fluke. One day few months later, while driving "just down the street," I had a break -ough seizure (was on Neurontin at the time). Going just twenty miles an hour, I totaled my car and hit six others. Three pedestrians had to run out the way. I don't think I need to explain the realizations I had when I woke up from that one.

The thing is - I had no warning for that seizure. Every other seizure I've had has come with a 5-10 minute warning. I thought I was safe. I could have killed someone. That thought haunts me all the time.

I grew up in a one horse town in rural Virginia. When I was stuck there for a summer with no car, it was hell. So I moved to the city (Richmond) permanently. I've lived in a city ever sense. I knew life would be hard in a small town or even small city where public transportation is limited. So I worked within the parameters of what I could handle. My first few months in my new apartment, I could barely afford it. But I finally felt I could have a life. I could walk to the grocery store or the pharmacy, etc. But I digress.

Driving, as stated before, is a touchy subject. We don't like to lose that freedom, especially when it's so necessary in a majority of the country. But as I had to explain to my friend as he bristled against doctors telling him he can't drive - it's not about you anymore. Seizures are terrible and it's not fair that we have them, but that is no reason to put other's lives at risk.

I LOVE your post. That's what I've been saying for years but it is a touchy subject with a lot of people and they rareley agree with me, but like you said "it's not about you anymore" You nailed it.

PS ~ I live in Canada and the window period of going seizure free is two years.
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