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5 Safe Driving Tips for People with Epilepsy

Learn how to drive safely if you have epilepsy from Steve Wolf, MD and Patty McGoldrick, NP in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Patients frequently ask about driving, and whether they can drive if they have epilepsy. What we know is in New York State at least if you’re a year seizure free you are allowed to drive. But the laws vary by state, so different states have different laws. The other rule that differs from state to state is whether or not we as practitioners are mandated to report to the state whether or not the person has had a seizure. The biggest issue I think with driving is in places where there is not adequate public transportation and people really need to drive for work. And a huge issue is teenagers who are looking forward to getting their first licenses and you know whether or not they are able to drive which comes up again and again. So it’s important that when you do fill out our applications for driving licenses if you do have epilepsy you need to report it. You need to get a letter from your doctor. Each state has a very different on when you are allowed to return to driving, so you need to have that conversation ah, with your neurologist is what the requirements are for that state. Also, it’s important if a doctor is changing your medications and you do have a breakthrough seizure what’s the interval before you can go back to driving ah, is important again it’s and state by state. Right and they want to check blood levels and make sure you are at adequate levels. Another thing that is really important is you want to be responsible for your medication so that you are not missing a dose here and there and then having breakthroughs seizures. So if you are planning on driving and have epilepsy make sure your past requirements of how many years or months of being seizure free. Be extra careful, take care of yourself, don’t have a break through seizure, getting plenty of sleep. Don’t put yourself at risk or anybody else at risk and you’ll drive safely.

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