In some states, such as Massachusetts and New Jersey, licensed drivers are required by law to report any medical conditions or diseases that could possibly interfere with basic driving skills to the Registry of Motor Vehicle. All of the guidelines and regulations for the minimum physical requirements set by Motor Vehicle were formed with the help of medical experts. There are stricter guidelines for commercial drivers.
Some common medical conditions that can impair your driving skills are impaired vision, seizures, sleeping disorders, dementia and a host of other illnesses. Not all medical limitations have been acknowledged by Motor Vehicle so sometimes a licensed driver will have to make a conscious decision on whether or not they can safely operate a vehicle.
Here are some medical conditions that can affect your driving.
Hearing loss doesn’t automatically disqualify from being able to drive. Some research suggests that totally deaf drivers have an increased risk of having an accident. Drivers who have been experiencing hearing loss and have not sought out the help of a medical professional are more hazardous because they are unlikely to rely heavily on other sensory to concentrate on the task of driving as would someone who is totally deaf. So even if you have been experiencing just minor hearing loss it’s important to see a physician as soon as possible so you can be safe behind the wheel.
Arthritis is a common ailment that depending upon the severity could be preventing you from driving safely. Arthritis is inflammation of the joints which affects movement. Everyone who drives know that as a driver you will have to be able to react quickly. Bad arthritis can prevent you from being able to move your feet quickly to step down on the brakes, turning your neck to check for oncoming traffic or even something as simple as adjusting your mirror. Yes, arthritis limits your physical movement, so you may want to consider having a driving evaluation conducted.
Of course you’ll need adequate vision in order to safely drive a vehicle. In order to become a licensed driver Motor Vehicle requires that a person has at least 20/40 vision in just one eye, even with glasses. Certain peripheral visions may limit your driving ability to only the daytime.
Both mental and medical conditions can affect a person’s alertness and consciousness. Diseases like diabetes, epilepsy and sleep disorders can cause a person to lose consciousness while behind the wheel. For instance, a diabetic can lose consciousness is there blood sugar levels drop low. Also mental disabilities such as dementia, anxiety and even depression can prohibit a person from thinking clearing. Mental conditions that cause confusion, stress and trouble remembering can affect your driving ability even if these symptoms are temporary they can still be hazardous.
A lot of the prescription medication available today have side effects that include, drowsiness and sleepiness when impairs a driver. Check with your doctor too see if driving after taking a specific medication is safe.