It is a little-known fact that epilepsy affects about one in every 100 people. Whether you know someone who has epilepsy or suffer from it yourself, here are a few things that you should know.
Many people think that it’s illegal to drive as an epileptic
This, in fact, is untrue. The South African National Road Traffic Act states that you will not be allowed to drive if your epilepsy is not controlled by medication prescribed by a medical practitioner. However, if you haven’t had a seizure in the last two years, driving is permitted.
Speak to your doctor
Your neurologist is the best person to consult to make sure that you’re fit to drive.
Don’t drive when you aren’t feeling well
If, for any reason, you feel ill, stressed or fatigued, do not drive as you may be more likely to have a seizure. Wait until you feel fit and alert before you get behind the wheel again. There’s always Uber…
Take your medication
Even if you haven’t had a seizure in months, this is no reason for you to stop taking your medication. You don’t want to put yourself and other drivers in danger on the road. If your doctor advises you to stop taking your medication for any reason, they will probably also instruct you to refrain from driving.
If you’re not fit to drive…
Think of other ways to get to your destination. Don’t let your condition affect your confidence and independence – this is probably only a temporary state of affairs. There are many other modes of transport that are safe and comfortable.
Consider public transport or, better yet, use a “take me home” service like MiWay’s WeDrive to get you to wherever you need to be, in the comfort of your own vehicle.
What to do when you’re with someone who has a seizure while driving:
- Stay calm and try to stop the vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so;
- Cushion the person’s head;
- Don’t put anything in their mouth;
- Gently lay them on their side, to make breathing easier;
- Stay with, and reassure them, until they have recovered;
- If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, call an ambulance.
Epilepsy is just one factor that can have an impact on driving ability. Before you hit the road, make sure you have comprehensive car insurance! Get an online insurance quote from MiWay, for the best cover at the most cost-effective rate.