Table of Contents

6.2.1 Relevance to the driving task

Effects of seizures on driving

Seizures vary considerably, some being purely subjective experiences (e.g. some focal seizures) but the majority involve some impairment of consciousness (e.g. absence and complex partial seizures) or loss of voluntary control of the limbs (e.g. focal motor and complex partial seizures). Convulsive (tonic–clonic) seizures may be generalised from onset or secondarily generalised with focal onset. Seizures associated with loss of awareness, even if brief or subtle, or loss of motor control, have the potential to impair the ability to control a motor vehicle.

Evidence of crash risk1

Most studies have reported an elevated crash risk among drivers with epilepsy, but the size of the risk varies considerably across the studies. The majority of studies have found that individuals with epilepsy are twice as likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash compared with the general driving population. More recent studies have found that drivers who do not take anti-epileptic medication as prescribed are at an increased risk for experiencing a crash.