When can I return to driving after a mild stroke?
- •Each state has its own requirements for returning to driving after a stroke that involves considerations of vision, seizures, and retesting standards.
- •You should not drive for 1 month following your stroke.4
- •You should talk to your doctor about driving after a mild stroke.
- •Your doctor may refer you to other health care providers for a driving evaluation.
How do I know if I can drive safely?
- ❏Has it been less than 1 month since your stroke?
- ❏Have you had a seizure in the past 6 months?
- ❏Do you take any single or combination of pills that can cause drowsiness?
- ❏Are your physician, family, or friends concerned about your driving?
Difficulty moving arms or legs
- ❏Do you have difficulty turning the steering wheel?
- ❏Do you veer out of your lane?
- ❏Do you have difficulty pushing the gas and brake pedal?
- ❏Do you stop too quickly?
- ❏Do you have difficulty shifting the gear in a car with manual transmission?
- ❏Do you have difficulty making quick decisions?
- ❏Do you have difficulty multitasking or doing more than one thing at a time?
- ❏Do you have difficulty driving while talking to other people in the car or listening to the radio?
- ❏Do you drive too fast or too slow?
- ❏Do you have difficulty turning or changing lanes?
- ❏Do you forget where you are going?
- ❏Do you notice changes in the route at the last minute?
- ❏Do you have difficulty following GPS directions?
- ❏Do you get lost along familiar routes?
- ❏Do you have blurred vision or difficulty reading street signs while driving?
- ❏Do you have double vision while driving?
- ❏Do you sometimes miss road signs and traffic lights?
- ❏Do other cars seem to come out of nowhere?
- ❏Do you have difficulty judging the distance between you and another car?
- ❏Do you have difficulty driving at night?
- ❏Do you have difficulty seeing the lines on the road or noticing curbs?
- ❏Do you get dizzy when you move your head to check blind spots?
- ❏Do you have difficulty focusing on something near (checking speed) and then focusing on something in the distance (checking road signs)?
- ❏Does glare from the hood or headlights bother you when driving?
- ❏Do you have difficulty seeing from the driver side window to the passenger side window (peripheral vision) when looking forward?
General driving issues
- ❏Do you have unexplained scratches on the body of the car?
- ❏Have the number of traffic tickets you received increased in the past 6 months?
- ❏Do you find yourself more easily agitated or angered while driving?
What treatment is available?
|What do I do?||Which health care provider can help me?|
|You sit in a model car with a computer screen. You complete driving tasks on the computer to practice your skills.|
|You practice thinking skills such as tuning out distractions, multitasking, planning, or reaction time.|
|Vision skills||You practice scanning your environment or watching cars as they pass to improve your brain’s speed and accuracy in processing what you see.|
|Glasses||If appropriate, you can wear special glasses to help correct your vision.|
|Behind-the-wheel training||While driving a real car, an instructor will accompany you to teach you to:|
|Car adaptations and modifications||Your car may be adapted to make it easier for you to drive. For example, you may get:|
Where can I find additional information and resources?
|AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety||Learn more about safe driving and take a driving safety test.||https://www.aaafoundation.org|
|CarFit||Find a trained technician to help you ensure that your vehicle is properly fit to your needs.||https://www.car-fit.org|
|National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association||Find a vendor to help you make your car more accessible.||http://www.nmeda.com/|
|The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists||Find a local CDRS or DRS.||www.ADED.net|
|Eldercare Locator||Find delivery services available for persons who cannot drive or who have driving restrictions.||www.eldercare.gov|
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- Is it safe to drive after acute mild stroke? A preliminary report.J Neurol Sci. 2015; 354: 46-50
- Effect of simulator training on driving after stroke: a randomized controlled trial.Neurology. 2005; 65: 843-850
- Rehabilitation for improving automobile driving after stroke.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014; 25CD008357