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
    355

alivenwell

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I got re-certified in CPR a few months ago and I will invest into an automatic external defibrillator. If somebody's heart or brain is deprived of oxygen, there are 10 extremely critical minutes to pump oxygen into their system. The defibrillator will basically stop a heart, and then shock it into a normal rhythm. Within the past year, the American Heart Association has changed its techniques to perform CPR and the use of automatic external defibrillator equipment.

I personally knew somebody who's wife drove him to the hospital (fortunately fairly close), dropped him off at the outside pavement, and within 5 minutes, they ran out to bring him into the hospital. Those 5 minutes were extremely critical. The problem with this scenario is that an ambulance has all the proper equipment and can react with the right techniques. A regular car does not have the same priority through traffic or at a hospital entrance.

If you know you're within 5 miles of a hospital, call 911. It's critical.

In my case, there was no ambulance, I was oxygen deprived and as a consequence, I acquired epilepsy.

I suggest you learn CPR and automatic external defibrillator certification. Call 911 first. They may have the right equipment. Hopefully you are fairly close to a hospital if somebody has the heart attack/heart arrest.

When I was little and oxygen deprived, they took me in a normal car performing CPR on me on the way to the hospital. That may be why I have epilepsy today.
 

Loudmouth

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To drive or not to drive?

I dont think the laws even in England where we have to wait a year are strict enough. Here's why. I got my epilepsy completely under control,even came off all my meds. went 52 weeks without a seizure, got my driving license back. Luckily funds had prevented me from getting a car sorted out straight away, as 2 weeks later i went into status. Can you imagine the results had i (legally) been at the wheel of a car? With my 3 children in? On a road with other cars on? carrying other people? possibly other people's children? or pedestrians? It doesn't bear thinking about. Which is why,even if i ever get my seizures under control again, I will never drive, through personal choice, as i do not want to take that chance with my childrens lives,my life and the lives of innocent people around me, as you never know what is around the corner. My neurologist now thinks that i was not seizure free for those 54 weeks but was having nocturnal seizures that were undetected as i live in my own therefore no one was ever there to tell me. how sure can someone with epilepsy be that they are 100% seizure free? And in a car,which can be a lethal weopon in the wrong hands, even the smallest seizure, of ANY sort, for 2/3 seconds,could be enough to cause a fatal accident. I feel it's not worth the risk. Walking hasn't ever killed people yet. if you live too rurally, move to a more urban setting with better public transport if need be, I did. Yes there are plenty of other people with other medical conditions who I feel should not be allowed to drive...diabetes thats severe for one,hypoglyceamic shock at the wheel would have the same devastating impact as a seizure.Personally I feel that EVERYONE with a drivers license shopuld be made to have an ANNUAl medical,and if they fail for any reason that could be detrimental to their driving ability,their license should be suspended until said problem was solved/for ever if not.and all the idiots who put on makeup at the wheel should be locked up, i had one nearly run me and the kids over this morning!grrr! I HAVE MADE A PERSONAL MORAL CHOICE TO NEVER DRIVE AGAIN REGARDLESS OF WETHER I AM DEEMED FIT TO OR NOT. I FEEL THE SAFETY RISK TO EVERYONE IS TOO GREAT. MY PERSONAL OPINION.
 

Loudmouth

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skillefer...

in the U.K. you can get arrested and charged if you ride a push bike on the road when you are not able to hold a drivers license for medical reasons (i.e epilepsy), and you aren't allowed to ride on the pavements in my town(you can get an on-the-spot fine)either unless you are on the designated cyle paths. Luckily in my town most of the Cycle paths are on the pavement, but i know in a lot of towns,they aren't, and if you were caught cycling in the road by a particularly over-zealous policeman,you can get prosecuted in the same way as driving a car when you aren't allowed to because the seizures make you a danger to other road users just as much on a push bike...for example,what would happen if you had a seizure and went under the wheels of somebody else's car? not only would there be serious injury/loss of life, but what about the impact on THAT person's life? There was a lad of 15 who had seizures in our town who got killed trying to cross the road on a bike during a complex partial seizure.
 
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Thing is, with the ambulance, I could be at the hospital in 30 minutes where they have ALL the equipment, tons of doctors and a few nurses or I could wait 30 minutes for an ambulance that may or may not have the proper equipment and may or may not have properly trained individuals.

I have been in enough hospitals, enough times, as a result of my hydrocephalus, to know that even hospitals have their share of inadequately trained individuals much less an ambulance.

As far as bikes, I am not sure if you are talking about motorized or non-motorized bikes but either way, it is just as dangerous, therefore making it dangerous to even look at a road of any kind. I am sure that everyone has seen, plenty of times, people speeding through red lights, people making illegal turns and on and on and on. So, even if I do walk the 15 miles to the nearest store, chances are just as good that I will get run over by some fruitcake mother who is driving 70 mph just to pick up her little girl in kindergarten that will not wear a seatbelt.

Ever cared to look around and see people putting on makeup at a stop light or stop sign? Ever seen someone with that electronic communication device surgically implanted in their ear....what is that thing called....oh yeah, a cell phone....all the while they are screaming at their kids, adjusting the radio and driving 15 mph over the speed limit at the same time?
 

alivenwell

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That's why I avoid heavy traffic. I've seen too many idiots out there. I bought bus passes so I don't have an accident on my record. If there's any question about who is at fault in an accident, they may presume I had a seizure which isn't really fair.

I try to order a lot of stuff online and let somebody else do the driving. We even have one store in this area let us order it online, and then they deliver the groceries. It can't get better than that. I don't know about anybody else in here, but I remember having all kinds of door to door service like the milkman, the mailman, the bread man, the dry cleaner man, the Frosty Ice Cream Man, the oil man, the coal man, the insurance man, etc. I may be showing my age, but at that time, the average household had ONE car. My dad carpooled with our neighbors. We used to fight over frozen milk.

We need to get back into that delivery mode. That way, there wouldn't be as much of a need for going to a store, dry cleaner, .... for an individual. An entire neighborhood would be taken care of at the same time.
 

shawn33

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Here in CA. you can drive in you have simple partial seizures because you stay conscious and alert pretty much. But with ALLOT of other seizures you go unconscious. Then you can get into an accident and kill a person and you could die too.
My father is a retired deputy from the LA county sheriff dept., and he told me all this since he was a homicide detective. If you know that you might have a seizure and cause a major accident where a person can die, but you say, "so what i probably won't have one and if i do nothing will happen!" Then if you have a seizure and cause a traffic collision, and a person is found dead. You can be arrested for pre-meditated murder since you knew you might have a seizure and that could happen, but you didn't care and you got behind the wheel any way! But before my father bought the farm, he didn't tell me if that was a federal law or if it went by the state you're in.
 

alivenwell

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Here in CA. you can drive in you have simple partial seizures because you stay conscious and alert pretty much. But with ALLOT of other seizures you go unconscious. Then you can get into an accident and kill a person and you could die too.
My father is a retired deputy from the LA county sheriff dept., and he told me all this since he was a homicide detective. If you know that you might have a seizure and cause a major accident where a person can die, but you say, "so what i probably won't have one and if i do nothing will happen!" Then if you have a seizure and cause a traffic collision, and a person is found dead. You can be arrested for pre-meditated murder since you knew you might have a seizure and that could happen, but you didn't care and you got behind the wheel any way! But before my father bought the farm, he didn't tell me if that was a federal law or if it went by the state you're in.
Here's a scenario that I would find interesting for your dad. Let's presume somebody has had a heart attack sometime in the past. They live through it and after a year, they're out there driving again. Now, they're aware of the past heart attack (not heart arrest which would have been deadly). Let's suppose they have another heart attack while driving. Would that be considered a deliberate act? They might not anticipate that heart attack. And, likewise, somebody with epilepsy may be fine for a long time, but suddenly have a seizure while driving. Is one medical condition given preferential treatment over another medical condition for a 'pre-meditated' murder?
 

shawn33

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driving laws

I wish I could ask him now, but while on a case he bought the farm years ago. That dialect here is he passed away. During an investigation he got into a shoot out and was shot and died.

As for not having a seizure for a while. If your neuro has given you the OK to drive, then NOTHING can happen to you if you had an accident because of a seizure. You may be at fault some what depending on how the investigation goes. But you couldn't be charged then like my dad was telling me. That's because your neuro said you're well enough to drive, so you had a doctors OK to start up again. But to be legal behind the wheel you need to have your license. But it all goes by the state rules. Here in CA. you can drive if you have simple partial seizures, or if you have the others. But have an aura that gives you enough time to pull to the side of the road so you can have your seizure while you're not currently moving. But you can't get your license until your neuro gives you the OK.
sincerely
Shawn
 

shawn33

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you have a good point. A friend of mine was seizure free for 9 and a half years and driving for those years. Than one night at home her seizures started up again and they can't stop them.
 

hknineeightyone

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Mmm i would have been having my first driving lesson on the 30th, but i had a fit and had to cancel, over here you have to wait a year seizure free before you can even begin to have lessons, so unfortunatley, im back at square one, i think the driving laws should be evend out more, i understand its for our benifit and others saftey, but people with mental illnesses, extreme old age can drive, theyre are bigger risks, yet people with epilepsy get picked out, X
 

shawn33

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Epilepsy and the laws of driving

hollyking981, I think that is good to do!! Here in CA. if you have a surgery and are seizure free for 3 months you can drive if your neuro gives the OK. Also if you have an aura where you have like 15 to 20 minutes to pull to the side of the road and then go through your seizure. Because of the aura like that your able to drive if your neuro gives you the OK. But since I just had a mojor surgery I'm happy that my neuro won't give me the OK unless i'm seizure free for a year. I'd rather play it safe as much as possible! I have a friend that had a right temporal lobectomy, and she was seizure free for 9 and a half years. then they started up again.
As for the senior citizens, I'm happy 100% that they drive slow, and it pisses me off that people honk at them to go faster!! They drive slow so that they have time for their reflexes to take effect in case something happens, so they play it safe. Now if you're not going to play it safe 100%, please let me know so i can tell my family and friends to stay off the street.
 

alivenwell

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They are randomly picking senior citizens and having them checked for eyesight, response time and knowledge of driving laws. It does make some of them uncomfortable. I knew one woman who was close to 90 years old with cataracts and drove incredibly slow in our neighborhood. It was scary.

But, I also know people who are in their 80s and very alert with quick response time.
 

shawn33

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driving slow

Well that's why she drove slow, because of her age/vision. She knows she needed time to see, and to react. There is a time where their license should be taken away, but until they hit that point. Everyone should understand that no one is perfect! These older people need their transportation too, and they need to just go a little slower.
Sincererly
shawn33
 
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I find it hard to believe it's really about public safety at all, or things would be more consistent from medical condition to medical condition, and from state to state.

:twocents:
 

shawn33

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driving laws

When it comes to people constantly honking at old people because of the way they drive so slow. I feel like yelling at the young ones honking. They're driving slow because their reflexes aren't what they used to be. So they need to take it a little slow so they can have time for their reflexes to react well.
As for driving with seizures. My father that was a homicide detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's dept.. He explained to me before he died why a person with bad seizures shouldn't drive. He just didn't tell me if it was by the state, or federal.
 
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Well, my Dad could not drive with his sight and diabetes. , I have never been able to drive. I had the brain surgery and went one year without seizures and bam! Went into status. And coma. Thank the Lord I was not able to drive. I think it is about safety. Can you imagine the pain our families have been in watching us going thru our struggles? What would it be like for us or other families to watch others who got hit by an epileptic on the road. No thank-you. I don't want that responsibility.
 

Belinda5000

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I think you should have to go at least 1 year seizure free to drive.
I've never driven.And the states that let you drive after you go 3 months sz's free is ridiculous.
The woman that was wrecking from passing out at the wheel I bet her license wasn't taken awayand she ran into a building .
I meet very interesting ppl on the subway and bus that I'd rather not meet.
I refuse to sit at home like a lot of ppl think I should.
Belinda
 
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What about public transportation?

I ride a bike and motorscooter because there are NO other ways to get around! My seizures are relatively infrequent and I abstain during periods when they are happening.

If I were living in Europe, I wouldn't have a problem, because there you can take trains/buses EVERYWHERE. In this country, if you live away from big cities (and I DON'T want to live in a big city!), you're up the creek if you don't have a car because you can't get to grocery store, to your job, to your MD.

If they have strict laws about seizures, they should provide transportation to persons with epilepsy or other conditions. We should have mass transportation anyway, because we've reached peak oil production, and automobiles are soon to be a thing of the past!
 

dfwtexas

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You would think that a big city like Dallas would have good public transportation..but we don't. If I ride the bus (actually it's a series of 4 buses) to get to work...it turns a 30 minute drive into 2 1/2 hour bus trips (One Way). I would be more concerned about having a seizure during this long process and end up lost (or even dead in the wrong part of town) in Dallas. So public transportation is not an option.
It's such a vivicous circle...if I don't drive, I lose my job...if I lose my job, I lose my insurance.....I feel like I am trying hard to keep on going...but nothing is in my favor. Only time will tell
I do worry about driving....but since I have been on meds, I have not had seizure in the car...plus I get auras, that I hope would allow me to get off the road. My son is very scared of something happening...he makes me call him each time I get in the car and again when I make it safe to my destination....he knows I have to drive to keep my job. Both my son and my best friend drive for me in other situations.
 

Cint

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My turn....

to add my :twocents:.

I've had a LTL for seizures, VNS surgery, multiple meds, and finally went for 2 years without daytime seizures, so my neurologist gave me the okay to drive. Then one day back in May, out of the blue, I was entering the interstate and went into a CP seizure. I ended up hitting the car in front of me, not knowing that I did because of the seizure. Somehow I had made it home and the cop showed up at my door. I was ticketed for leaving the scene of the accident, failing to stop and exchange information, and reckless driving. I ended up going to court two weeks ago and the charges were reduced to careless driving and following too closely. I initially was going to be charged with reckless driving, but when the judge asked my attorney if he had anything else to say, his reply was, "Yes. My client has a history of a seizure disorder and had brain surgery for it, therefore, she experienced a seizure while driving."
The judge's reply was, "Well then, in that case, that changes things." Then she asked if I understood what was being said in the court because of the side effects of the medications. Then she reduced the charges.

Before I had my turn in court that day, I had to listen to three drunk drivers pleading their cases, and I thought that all of them should spend their time in jail. There is a case in Denver recently where an illegal alien was involved in a fatal hit and run accident. A woman and her child were killed by this idiot!! At least in my accident there were no damages, and the only reason I left the scene was because of the "altered state of consciousness", not one that I ever brought on by drugs or alcohol nor did I ever ask for it!!
Plus my driving record was clean before this happened. So now I walk, ride my bike, and take the bus and light rail. I agree with John Forrest, in Europe it seems there are trains and buses everywhere. What's wrong with American's and our conception of public transportation? I think everyone needs to be in a predicament where they can't drive for at least 3 months, maybe then they'd change their minds about driving and owning a car! :ponder:

Cindy
 
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