Safe Driving with Medical Conditions? How to Know When You’re Legal

You might take driving with medical conditions lightly. But it’s serious business.

In a bad scenario, you might find yourself in a life threatening situation – or worse, harming another.

So, follow this advice to avoid driving with certain critical medical conditions.

Whether they are long-term conditions or temporary, you’ll want to have someone else take the wheel at home or away.

Read more in this article about do’s and don’ts of driving while having some concerning medical conditions.

safe driving with medical conditions
Before you begin driving with a medical condition, evaluate whether it’s safe to do so.

CONTENTS – In this article, you’ll learn more about driving with medical conditions, including:

Which Medical Conditions Can Stop You From Driving? 

Everyone knows that driving impaired while under the influence of substances is illegal.

But impaired driving isn’t always related to substances.

Sometimes, it can result from medical conditions.

There’s no sense in putting yourself at risk of an accident or a citation for a situation you could have avoided.

Read on to learn which medical conditions can stop you from driving and how you can stay legally compliant. 

Why Are There Restrictions on Driving with Medical Conditions?

If you drive with a medical condition, it can impair your judgment and reaction to road hazards, other drivers, and various incidents on the road.

Some medical conditions can make you an unsafe driver, even if you typically are a safe driver who follows the rules of the road.

Legal restrictions due to medical conditions exist for public safety.

Following the rules has benefits for you and other drivers. 

For example, suppose you drive with a condition and get into an accident in Boynton Beach, FL. The incident will impact you and the other driver and your insurance.

In this case, you’d want to call a Boynton Beach car accident lawyer to advise on your claim.

What Are the Most Common Conditions Which Affect Driving?

dimentia and driving
Common medical conditions can affect your ability to drive safely.

Certain problems almost always impact your license, regardless of where you live.

Here is a short list of some common conditions that may affect your driving.

1. Visual Impairments

Visual impairments are complex, as some don’t prohibit driving because they are correctable with glasses or contact lenses.

The types of impairments which impact a license are:

  • Visual acuity
  • Night vision
  • Peripheral vision
  • Depth perception
  • Glare resistance and recovery

And, as you age, you may be affected by visual impairments. So, you’ll want to be aware of any changes in your vision that will affect your ability to drive.

2. Diabetes Mellitus

Around 11% of the US population have diabetes.

Diabetes creates either too much glucose in the blood or not enough insulin.

It affects a person’s ability to undertake everyday tasks such as driving.

Whether diabetes affects your driving license depends on your type and how bad it is.

Consider your safety driving based on types of diabetes symptoms you experience based on your condition.

3. Dementia

Driving with medical conditions like moderate and severe dementia can be dangerous.

These conditions affect driving because they impact:

  • Cognitive function
  • Strength and coordination
  • The ability to respond rationally to the surrounding environment

Whatever the reason for the dementia, take it seriously and don’t drive.

4. Lapse of Consciousness Disorders (LOC)

The most common Lapse of Consciousness Disorder (LOC) is epilepsy.

But LOC can also result from anything that impairs normal brain function.

This includes:

  • Stroke
  • Metabolic imbalances like diabetic comas
  • Tumors
  • Infections
  • Head Injury

Sleep disorders such as narcolepsy also cause loss of consciousness or awareness.

The unpredictability of this condition makes it among the highest risks – so don’t drive unless your physician says it’s safe to do so.

Temporary Medical Conditions

driving with medical conditions
Recovery from some medical conditions, like a C-section, warrants a temporary pause from driving.

Some illnesses and conditions may only require a temporary pause from driving with medical conditions while you recover.

These don’t prohibit you from being a passenger in a car driven by someone else.

Driving after a Caesarean Section is generally not recommended for two weeks after surgery, sometimes even longer.

Some states may have a restriction on your license, so always speak to your motor insurer.

Likewise, driving after another kind of operation or procedure may be difficult.

Depending on the type of medical treatments involved, you may find it physically impairs you.

However, you might be subject to restrictions after less invasive procedures, as well. So, you’ll definitely want to check this out with your surgeon.

How To Determine If You Can Drive Legally

Your state of residence issues driving licenses.

So, if you have a health condition that might affect your license, you’ll need to speak to the issuing body in your state.

And if you plan to drive outside your state or country, you’ll need to check with authorities there.

A good rule of thumb is to always seek medical advice if your condition is on a spectrum and you’re unsure whether it is severe enough to affect your driving ability.

Final Thoughts on Driving with Medical Conditions

The consequences of having an accident if you’re driving under a prohibited condition are grave.

Don’t put yourself and others at risk.

Be sure that if you have a medical condition, you can still drive safely.

And if not, enlist the services of a trusted friend or car service. Then, you can sit back and safely enjoy the ride!

Next Steps

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