Though many recognize the dangers of driving while under the influence of certain prescriptions or illicit substances, few consider the increase in risk that is present when a seizure patient is behind the wheel.
Seizures are terrifying experiences that occur from abnormal electrical activity in the brain. While epilepsy is a commonly known seizure disorder, factors like dementia, substance use disorders and high glucose levels could also lead to the occurrence of seizures.
Individuals with extremely elevated levels of sodium or with a diagnosis of heart disease could have a seizure, just as could individuals having an incident of heat intolerance, withdrawal from street drugs or alcohol or toxic buildup. The loss of consciousness during a seizure renders a driver completely unable to maintain control of their vehicle. This puts everyone on the road in jeopardy and increases the risk of car accidents.
In the state of Texas, those who deal with uncontrollable or ongoing seizures have a driving restriction. There are specific instructions in place for obtaining a class C license, namely being seizure-free for at least three months. Applicants for a class A or B license must be off any anti-seizure medications for at least five years and without a seizure during that time period. For those with a diagnosis of a seizure disorder, these regulations are straightforward.
Medical practitioners are not required to report epileptic conditions to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The good-faith assumption that these drivers will not get behind the wheel could potentially create driving concerns for the public.