Having a stroke is a life-changing event in many ways. Recovering from a stroke is a long and difficult process. There may be many day-to-day activities you are no longer able to do.
Certain activities are even prohibited as you recover fully from the effects of a stroke. But what about driving? Can you legally drive after a stroke?
In this article, you’ll find out whether or not you can drive after having a stroke.
Can You Legally Drive After A Stroke?
Whether you can legally drive after suffering from a stroke depends on various factors. However, your driving license is not automatically terminated after having a stroke.
According to AARP, you do not lose your driver’s license after having a stroke. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that most people who survived a stroke can return to independent, safe driving.
There is no federal regulation regarding driving after a stroke. Laws differ state-to-state.
This means that whether you can legally drive after having a stroke will depend on the laws in the state where you reside.
Another thing that will decide whether you can drive after having a stroke is your healthcare provider’s advice.
It is best to talk with your healthcare provider about whether it is safe for you to drive after a stroke. It is also recommended to talk about the necessity of modifying your vehicle to be able to drive after a stroke.
This may involve installing hand controls or other adaptive equipment. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, it may be recommended to stop driving for good.
These conversations are important for safety reasons, but they are also important for the mental health of the person who has had a stroke. Knowing that you have support and the ability to make necessary changes to live a full life is incredibly important to your mental health.
If you have good vision to the left and right side and you have coordination even after having a stroke, then most likely, you can drive. However, these medical tests are not the panacea or the cure-all that states whether you can drive or not.
Most doctors and other healthcare professionals do not allow driving after having a stroke if it endangers public health. For instance, if the stroke victim is a public transportation driver, then it is not best to drive immediately, especially as the driver may endanger the lives of his/her passengers.
After talking with your healthcare provider about whether you can drive or not, you must also check with the Department of Motor Vehicles. See if your doctor needs to report your health status before driving again.
Now, as previously mentioned, whether you can drive after having a stroke depends. It is on a case-by-case basis as it will depend not only on your state’s regulations but also on the decision of your healthcare provider.
So if you are thinking about driving after recovering from a stroke, it is best to consult your doctor beforehand.