People with Epilepsy can drive under certain conditions.
All licence holders should be advised of the following general principles for safety when driving.
- The patient must continue to take anti-epileptic medication regularly when and as prescribed.
- The patient should ensure they have had adequate sleep and not drive if they are sleep deprived.
- The patient should avoid circumstances, or the use of substances (e.g. alcohol), that are known to increase the risk of seizures.
Assessing Fitness To Drive
Austroads is the peak organisation of Australasian road transport and traffic agencies.The organisation produces the document: Assessing Fitness to Drive, which includes the medical standards for licensing. This section includes guidelines for both the default standard and variations to the default standard (for example, Seizures in childhood, First Seizure, Epilepsy treated for the first time, Seizures only in sleep etc):
- Austroads: Medical Standards For Licensing (direct link within seizures and epilepsy section)
- Austroads: Assessing Fitness to Drive (for access to full downloadable pdf or online version)
The Epilepsy Society of Australia and the Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists have created downloadable resources including an information brochure for patients with epilepsy on driving and an epilepsy and seizure data form for NSW patients including an algorithm (see links below). The Epilepsy Society of Australia has also published background information that summarises the issues involved for the doctor in relation to driver licensing of patients with epilepsy, available here.
Private Driving Standards
The table below (reproduced from the Austroads Assessing Fitness to Drive document)) details the default private standards for people who have experienced a seizure. Commercial Licensing has more stringent requirements. The information is up to date as of January 2018.