People who suffer from epilepsy may be able to drive safely provided they take all safety precautions, including taking any necessary medications, and stick to the limitations placed on them under the law. A new study, in fact, finds that an early diagnosis of epilepsy may significantly reduce car accident risks.
According to the study, as many as 5% of patients who suffer from epilepsy had suffered a seizure while driving before their diagnosis. The researchers, who include members of the American Academy of Neurology, were specifically looking at how long a person drives before he or she received an epilepsy diagnosis. They believe that it is important to push for earlier diagnosis of epilepsy in order to reduce car accident risks among these persons.
As part of the study, the researchers focused on 447 persons who suffered from focal epilepsy which is marked by recurrent seizures. They found that 23 of these people had suffered a seizure while driving. About 26% suffered their first seizure while driving while around 30% had suffered more than one seizure while driving. In all, these seizures resulted in 19 auto accidents with 11 of these car accidents requiring hospitalization.